New youth age limit comes into force Jan 1, 2026

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KUALA LUMPUR: The 30-year age limit for youth in the country will come into effect on Jan 1, 2026. The current youth age limit is 40.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh (pix) said the government has set Jan 1, 2026, as the date that the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act A1602) comes into force.

She said the amendments, among others, involved lowering the youth age limit to 30, setting the age limit for youth society office bearers to 18 to 30 years old and shortening the period to hold office as head of youth society from six to four years.

The setting of the date was the result of a series of discussions between the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) and the Malaysian Youth Council (MBM), she added.

“The government has agreed on the effective date. The date on which the law comes into effect has already been published on the website of the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Nov 20, 2023.

“Following that, it is important for KBS to inform all stakeholders related to youth today as they need to be aware of the enforcement of the amendment, especially things related to the age limit of youth,” she said at a press conference of the National Youth Consultative Council (MPBN) at the International Youth Centre (IYC), Cheras.

At the same time, Hannah also emphasised the new age limit is in line with the National Youth Policy and the definition of youth in other countries as being under the age of 30.

“For example, Indonesia (aged 16 to 30), Philippines (aged 15 to 30); Thailand (aged 15 to 24); South Korea (aged nine to 24) and Australia (aged 12 to 24),” she said.

In the meantime, Hannah said a Joint Committee led by her deputy Adam Adli Abd Halim will discuss transition programmes and strategies to empower leadership and increase the membership of youth organisations.

She said a framework of a transition plan will be prepared consultatively with relevant stakeholders in the first quarter of 2024 to launch the (transition) process.

In a separate development, Hannah announced the Cabinet’s decision to approve the granting of administrative assistance of RM5 million each year starting this year to MBM and affiliated bodies, subject to Act 668, to strengthen the governance and operation of youth organisations.

“This will help MBM and affiliated bodies to be more active in implementing youth programmes,” she said. –Bernama

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