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Is age a number? Several developments in the past few weeks got me thinking. The first one was about the government’s plans to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. The proposal has since received bipartisan support. In fact, the government is going one step further by pushing for automatic registration of voters upon them turning 18.

The second is the government’s plan to lower the age cap for youths from the current 40 to 30. This means those above 30 are no longer allowed to hold positions in youth organisations. The second proposal is more controversial and has received mixed response.

But amid the drive to further empower the young, last week Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad celebrated his 94th birthday. At that age, many would have been happily retired, not running a country, attending countless meetings and events that normally a person half his age would have problems keeping up with.

Dr Mahathir and his birthday cake last week

We sometimes confuse chronological age with that of biological and mental age. Dr Mahathir may be 94, but his mental faculty and spirits are definitely much younger. He is a fine example of why we should not brush aside someone on account of age alone. Likewise, 18-year-olds these days may have the smarts or wisdom of those who are much older.

I am still “young” by Dr Mahathir’s standards. I try to keep myself clued in on the latest pop culture and technological trends. Not only will doing so keep my mind active and alert, who knows, there might be business opportunities to explore too.

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