KANGAR, April 9 – The government will continue to give special attention, especially to the senior citizens, as the country prepares itself to be an ageing nation by 2030.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun said the percentage of senior citizens (above 60 years old) is expected to increase drastically to 5.3 million in the next 10 years.
“In 2020, there are 3.7 million senior citizens in the country, and it is expected to increase by 15.3 per cent, to 5.3 million in 2030,” she said in her speech at the Volunteerism @Pawe: Basic Volunteer Skills Workshop here today.
Rina said studies also showed that almost 23 per cent or 538,000 individuals from 2.4 million senior citizens in the country suffered from the ’empty nest syndrome” (feeling lonely and sad) because they are staying on their own and away from their children.
This loneliness and depression affect their health and limit their role as members of the society, she added.
She said the government through the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development will emphasise the Strategic Plan 2021 to 2025 on the development of senior citizens in the country.
She said that under Budget 2021, the government had raised the annual financial aid for each Senior Citizen Activity Centres ( Pawe) from RM33,330 to RM50,000 for it to carry out programmes and activities in line with the concept of active and productive senior citizens.
The government has allocated RM7.15 million this year for the operation of 143 Pawe nationwide and this reflects its commitment to improve the quality of life of senior citizens, she added.