KUCHING: Youth associations in Sarawak may be exempted from the decision to lower the youth age cap from 40 years to 30.

This is in view of the fact that associations are registered under the Registrar of Societies (ROS), and the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Bill 2019 only involved associations registered under the Registrar of Youth (ROY).

According to Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, this was among the matters discussed during his courtesy visit on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also the Sarawak United National Youth Organisation (Saberkas) president, here yesterday.

“We respect the views of the Sarawak government because this amendment only involves youth associations registered under the ROY.

“What the Sarawak government has raised is because the funds and assets are from the state government, so it is not under the jurisdiction of the federal government,” he said.

“Whereas, for youth associations registered under ROY, it will go ahead.

Abang Johari (centre) welcoming Syed Saddiq (second left) at his office as (from second right) Abdul Karim and Sarawak Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan look on. Photo: Nadim Bokhari

“We will continue to work closely with the Sarawak government, which could help and target youths under 30, as the act would take effect in December 2021.

“I have mentioned this to the chief minister and I think we can achieve the agreement,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Saberkas was registered with ROS and therefore, had determined the age limit to about 40.

“We (Saberkas) also have an assistance programme for the B40s, whether it is entrepreneurship, agriculture and others.

“If we lower the age limit, then it will deface what’s been made so far. Therefore, we are still looking in-depth into its implication,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is also Saberkas deputy president, stressed that age was not an issue, but “what is more important is the close working relationship between the federal and state governments to develop youths.”