KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Chinese are fast becoming an ageing society and are the most urbanised, compared to the other communities, according to a research organisation.
The Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies director Dr Voon Phin Keong said based on statistics in the year 2000 census, which is available now, the percentage of the Chinese community who were aged 65 and older was 5.4%, higher than the national average of 3.9% for the whole country.
When seven per cent of a population is 65 years or older, it is considered aged.
The Chinese community may be considered reaching the end of the mature population stage and will soon enter the phase of an aged society, he said at a press conference.
Dr Voon said the ageing trend had raised the question whether the community was prepared to look after an increasingly ageing society.
He said similarly, rural-urban migration led to over-concentration in large cities, causing a population decline of Chinese in new villages.
The Chinese are the most urbanised community in the country because four out of five are found in towns and cities in 2000, he said, adding that the overall figure for the country was three out of five.
Dr Voon also said statistics showed that between 1957 and 1991, about a million Chinese emigrated while the Malaysian Chinese population declined from one-third to a quarter.
Issues on the population trend, employment, marriage and family patterns, decline in number and fertility among the Chinese, changes in the new villages and caring for the elderly will be deliberated on at a seminar organised by the centre on Aug 3.
Dr Voon said the seminar aimed to create awareness on various demographic trends and problems faced by the community and highlight their implications to policy makers and the public.
He said 10 working papers would be presented by local academicians and researchers from universities and research centres.
The seminar at Wisma Kebudayaan SKM in Jalan Bukit Bintang is jointly organised by Soka Gakkai Malaysia and the Chun Hwa Old Boys Association.
For more details, call 03-22734035 or 03-21412003.
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