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Number of elderly to double to 5.8 million by 2030

 | September 13, 2017

Malaysia has to deal with the resulting socio-economic impact, says deputy minister.

Azizah-Mohd-Dun-elderlyKUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ageing fast.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Azizah Mohd Dun said in 13 years, the number of those aged 60 and above will double from 3.1 million today to 5.8 million.

According to a United Nations report in 2007, the aged population in Malaysia will double from 7% to 14% in just 28 years compared with Sweden where it took 112 years for this to happen.

Azizah said advancements in medical and health technologies had extended the life expectancies but the fertility rate had fallen.

She said the average life expectancy of Malaysians was 74.7 last year.

“The increasing number of senior citizens and related illnesses will have significant social-economic impact.

“Healthcare and social security costs will increase, the workforce will decrease in size and family structures will change,” said Azizah at a seminar on Successful Ageing 2017 at Institut Sosial Malaysia here today.

Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (Jica) chief representative Kensuke Fukawa told FMT that Japan was also experiencing an ageing population but there were no immediate solutions.

He said it was still a gradual learning process for the Japanese.

One of the major challenges faced in Japan was the increase in medical fees.

“As you age, you will have many physical problems and you will have to rely much more on hospitals.”

He said elderly Japanese were advised to exercise, have regular medical checks and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Fukawa said the older population also needed to be provided the opportunity to adapt themselves to new technologies.

Jica has been collaborating with the Social Welfare Department (JKM) since 2015 to deal with ageing problems.

Jica programme manager Tan Siew Chan said several officers were sent to Japan to undergo training to learn the best practices to handle an ageing society.


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