Followed by the recent tabling and passing of RUU 668 which amends the definition of youths under Registrar of Youth (ROY) from 40 to 30 years old, the Melaka government expresses its support for the move by the Youth and Sports Ministry.
There has been lengthy debates on whether the move was necessary among youth bodies since the previous government. This means that this is a youth issue beyond politics and should be supported by those who want to see reforms in our national youth agenda.
Disagreement on the move stems from the argument that the leadership in most youth bodies comprised of members above 30 years old, and close to 40 years old in many cases. This is a challenge acknowledged by the ministry as well as the Melaka state government.
The ministry has agreed in principle to few initiatives that will help youth organisations go through the transition. Amongst others, an example is to enforce the full requirements after 2021. There are also incentives for those who can comply with the age requirement. We believe youth bodies must play their role to fulfil the national youth agenda, which is to encourage the involvement of the younger generation and allowing them the space to exercise nation-building.
Limited leadership skills and experience from those who are younger should not be a reason to discourage the transition, as we should be training and grooming younger leaders for the state and the country from these organisations. In fact, ensuring that younger leaders will become ready is precisely why the move (of lowering the age) is necessary.
While the Melaka government is, and always will be ready to assist youths in the state, the ‘missing puzzle piece' of how to grow younger leaders remain, and should be a task tackled by not only the government but by all youth organisations.