Royal interference in Johor’s definition of youth? True or not, group asks state govt

Ben Tan
On Wednesday night, the Johor government withdrew its earlier decision to cap the youth age at 40. — Reuters pic

JOHOR BARU, July 11 — Johor youth chamber Dewan Muda Johor (DMJ) today demanded the mentri besar and an executive council member respond to Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s allegation that the recent rapid-fire changes of positions regarding the new definition of youth were due to royal interference.

In a statement issued today, DMJ said Muhyiddin’s allegation of the Johor palace’s intervention on the issue is very serious and must be supported by facts, as such accusations will indirectly give a bad name to the state’s royal institution and are deemed malicious.

“Therefore, DMJ urge Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal and state Youth, Sports, Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali to answer to the allegations by Muhyiddin and for the state government to come up with a clarification on the status quo on the amendment of the age limit for youths,” read the statement that was posted on the movement’s Facebook page today.

Yesterday, it was reported that Muhyiddin had said that Johor’s run-around of repeated changes in the past two days regarding the new legal definition of youth was due to royal interference.

The Pagoh MP and Johor politician added that the incident bode poorly for ties between the state government and the palace.

DMJ said it believes that both Dr Sahruddin and Sheikh Umar, as the mentri besar and youth exco, have absolute authority over any decision made after taking into account the advice and views of all stakeholders.

“This is evident in last statement by Sheikh Umar on the night of July 9, stating that the state government’s decision (to maintain the youth cap at 40) was made on the basis of discussion and advice of interested parties on the issue of youth in Johor,” it said.

Earlier today, most of Johor’s youth grassroots had voiced their stand calling on all parties to respect the state’s decision in setting the youth cap at 40.

Among them were the district youth councils of Pontian, Batu Pahat, Kota Tinggi, Kulai and Kluang.

On Wednesday night, the Johor government withdrew its earlier decision to cap the youth age at 40.

Earlier, Johor had said it will follow the federal government’s definition of youth as those aged between 15 and 30.

However, just a day earlier, Dr Sahruddin issued a statement saying Johor will maintain its definition of youth as those between 15 and 40.

Last week, the Dewan Rakyat approved an amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act, where the age limit of youth was lowered from 40 to 30. The amendment must be approved by the Dewan Negara and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before it becomes law.

The motion to lower the ceiling age for youth, which was tabled by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman in Parliament today, is expected to be gazetted on December 31, 2021.

Related Articles Home minister explains why Zakir Naik, wanted by India, free in Malaysia Muhyiddin: Belia Johor 30 ke 40 tahun? Bincang dengan istana After Johor’s youth runaround, Muhyiddin asks royals to leave policies to government