KUALA LUMPUR: DAP has pledged to push forward an interministerial plan to tackle issues surrounding Malaysia’s ageing population, should Pakatan Harapan (PH) win the 15th general election (GE15).
Pasir Pinji assemblyman Howard Lee said if PH forms the next federal government, the party will push for the tabling of a national care economy and ageing community preparedness plan (SiagaJaga) in Parliament.
“In an increasingly challenging economy, caring for the elderly may become an obstacle for some to achieve their full working potential,” he said at a press conference at the DAP headquarters here.
Lee said the demand for caregiving will skyrocket with an ageing population. He cited United Nations statistics that 17% of Malaysia’s population will be aged 65 and above by 2045.
He said SiagaJaga will seek to professionalise the caregiving sector, provide support and allowances for caregivers, as well as tax incentives for employers of caregivers.
He said the government could do this by injecting public funds and encouraging private sector investment. A public-private partnership could also be explored.
Lee said SiagaJaga had been discussed by DAP’s GE15 action plan committee but the PH presidential council had yet to approve making it part of its manifesto.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said SiagaJaga would ensure better female participation in the workforce, considering they were often made to be informal caregivers to their parents and children.
Separately, Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong said GE15 should be more than about the number of seats won and who formed the government, but the kind of policies that would bring the nation forward.
Asked about a report by The Star claiming that Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah would be fielded for the Klang parliamentary seat to replace incumbent Charles Santiago, Liew simply told reporters to speak to Selangor DAP.