KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has called for cities and urban environments to be age- and gender-friendly as the nation prepares for a change in demographics.
Speaking at the Malaysia Urban Forum here today, Muhyiddin said Malaysia will become an ageing society by 2045, by which time 14% of the population will be 65 years and above.
“This will bring about new challenges in health services needs and the physical environment.
“It is time we address the ageing society in our national development plans and relook our planning and physical development to meet the needs of the elderly community,” he said.
Muhyiddin said 77% of the population resides in urban areas, a statistic which is expected to increase to 80%, or 26 million people, by 2030.
With such large populations in the cities, he said, Malaysia will face even more challenges in providing for the needs of urban societies.
Apart from managing the waste generated, overcoming increasing traffic problems and air pollution and providing affordable homes, Muhyiddin said Malaysia has to ensure sufficient access to water, uninterrupted power supply, provide quality access to public transportation and telecommunication as well as overcome severe flooding in the cities.
The Malaysian Urban Forum is a national-level forum that aims to promote inclusive debates and discussions towards developing and improving the country’s urbanisation strategies, policies and actions.