Malaysia is set to become an ageing nation by the year 2030 and it would pose a challenge to the government, said deputy minister of Women, Family, and Community Development Datuk Heng Seai Kie.
This was due to 15 per cent of the country’s population turning 60 and above in the next 18 years, she said.
She compared Malaysia to Europe, saying it would take the nation only 26 years to reach such a status instead of a hundred-year span it took in the
“This means we (Malaysia) would reach this status even before becoming a fully developed nation,” she told reporters after launching the ‘International Conference on Population Ageing: Issues and Challenges’ at University Malaya, here yesterday.
The one-day conference was a smart collaboration between the University and the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) which was attended by 300 local and foreign participants.
Also present at the event were LPPKN president Tan Sri Napsiah Omar and director-general Datuk Aminah Abdul Rahman.
Heng said that the government was aware of the situation had approved improvements to the Senior Citizen’s Policy and Plan of Action on January 5 2001, with emphasis on life-long human capital development.
The improvements would focus on preparation, prevention and strengthening besides taking into account the need to empower senior citizens, she
Heng remarked that children should be responsible in taking care of their parents and not leave the matter to the government.
She went on to cite the Eastern culture with its emphasis on values such as respect, love, and gratitude.
“All of us are growing older, so taking care of the elderly today is akin to taking care of ourselves when we become old,” she concluded.