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KUALA LUMPUR, 10 April 2017:
Malaysia needs an Act specifically tailored for its senior citizens, says National Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia (Makpem).
In making the suggestion, Makpem president Datuk Seri Halim Ibrahim said a specific ‘Akta Warga Emas’ would allow policymakers to come up with plans and initiatives for the benefit and betterment of the targeted group.
“The proposed Act could encompass matters like healthcare and wellness, economy and social security.”
Such a piece of legislation, he said, was important in view of the fact that Malaysia would likely attain aged nation status by 2030.
He, however, noted that despite not having a specific Act for senior citizens, a policy for them had been in place since 1995.
The UN defines people who have reached 60 years of age as senior citizens while a country attains aged nation status when 15% of its population are senior citizens.
Data from the Statistics Department has revealed that Malaysians are now living longer, with life expectacy of about 72 years for men and 77 years for women.
It is also projected that by 2030, Malaysia’s population will increase to 38.1 million people – whereby 15.3% or 5.8 million are above 60 years old, up from 7.9% (2.3 million) in 2010.
Halim said although 60 was the age when one was categorised as a senior citizen, many at that age still enjoyed good health and were active and productive.
“So, such act can help to ensure that they will be able to continue to live a quality life beyond 60.”