Malaysia’s 50 shades of grey problem

23-Jan-2020 Intellasia | TheStar | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Figures from the Statistics Department show that Perak is currently the state with the biggest proportion of people aged 60 and above (15.3%), followed by Penang (14.9%), Melaka (13.9%), Perlis (13.1%) and Kedah (12.8%).

He said states must create enough jobs that meet the various skills and academic qualifications of its people to prevent youths from migrating abroad or to other states.

The Statistics Department data also forecasts that Malaysia will be classified an aged country in 2040, which is when 65-year olds and above make up 14 percent of the population.

“Because of this, states like Perak and Penang need to start creating more specialised jobs and upscale its economy to become less labour intensive, and to cater to the learned young generation.”

Most of the high-skilled jobs that were created in the state such as in engineering, catered only to the requirements of industrial activities such as for semiconductor companies, he added.

On Perak, Chai said longer lifespans and the state’s appeal as haven for retirees were not the factors causing the state’s ageing population.

“The trend has led to the state bleeding out its younger population, hence naturally increasing the percentage of old people.”

Every state, he said, has to take into account their history and local needs to identify the best approach in attracting youths to work in their state.

The researcher said the federal and state governments need to create new niche industries that can offer enough skilled jobs.

“It may not be a huge industry for the country but it provides a high-income and much needed technical expertise industry for our graduates,” he said.

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