KUCHING, Oct 6 — The Sarawak government is studying the best method to assist senior citizens, as the level of human health has improved compared with a few decades ago, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.
He said that Malaysia is now heading towards being an ageing country, therefore, a method such as insurance for the group should be introduced, as the cost of living would also increase.
“Therefore, the state government, through its Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry, needs to think about how we (the government) want to deal with such a situation so that we always have sufficient funds to cover their cost of living.
“At the state level, there are discussions similar to the developed countries, with a longer life expectancy; the elderly will always be given attention by the responsible government,” he said while addressing the ministry’s 10th anniversary celebration here today.
Abang Johari explained that with the best method, the government can assist the elderly in the state through financial assistance because, at the age of 70, many would not be able to continue working, apart from running out of retirement money.
“We have to face this reality, and we have to have a certain instrument where you can give assistance, including financial assistance, to our ageing population the government needs to prepare for the situation that will change after 2030 to 2050; as long as you have the policy, then the policy will be improved as it goes along,” he said.
According to statistics in Sarawak, in the next 10 years, the number of people aged 60 and above will increase between 15 and 20 per cent.
Based on the United Nation’s definition, if the population aged 65 and above in a country reaches 15 per cent of the total population, then the country will be called an ageing nation. — Bernama