KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg says it is unnecessary for the state to go along with the Dewan Rakyat’s plan to change the definition of youth by lowering the age limit from 40 to 30.
Since the subject falls under the concurrent list, he said it would be up to the state legislative assembly to decide on the amendment to change the definition of youth.
“At the moment, the age limit for youths in Sarawak is 40,” he said.
On Monday, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman tabled the amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act 2007.
The amendment bill proposes the definition of “youth” as those under 30. Section 2 of the Act currently defines a youth as between the age of 15 and 40.
Abang Johari also said Gabungan Parti Sarawak had agreed on lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.
“I don’t think it’s a problem except for some people who are concerned with the level of maturity.
“But if the world has allowed those aged 18 to vote, then it should not be a problem for us to follow suit,” he said.
He also said the state preferred to have automatic voter registration implemented.
“After all, the voter can decide if he or she wants to vote as long as their name is in the list.
“We need to work with the National Registration Department. Once a person reaches the age of 18, they should be automatically registered,” he said.
Yesterday, Syed Saddiq tabled the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age for its first reading.
The second reading is expected to be on July 16.