KUALA LUMPUR: The government will conduct a diagnostic study to develop a comprehensive, integrated and sustainable plan for the care for senior citizens, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She said the comprehensive study was needed because there are children who neglected or abandoned their elderly parents as they face pressure due to their own economic wellbeing.
“We need to look at this issue in a comprehensive manner. We can penalise them (children who neglect their parents); however, if it doesn’t resolve the issue, then it will be a burden to our prison system.
“So we need to look at it properly,” she told reporters after launching the Tasputra Perkim daycare and training centre for special needs children here yesterday.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the study was also aimed at improving and enhancing the National Plan of Action for Older Persons under the National Policy for Older Persons.
On Monday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy said the government is willing to look into a proposal to create a new law to protect parents who are being neglected by their children.
However, he said an in-depth study would be needed before it could be implemented.
Earlier, Dr Wan Azizah expressed hope that NGOs do not depend too much on grants or help provided by the ministry.
“We have to move away from a handout culture to a self-sustainable one. It is hoped that NGOs that receive grants can be independent and stand tall with the support and aid from the corporate sector.”
She also believed that many corporate companies and individuals would be willing to work with NGOs for their corporate social responsibility programmes.
On a separate issue, Dr Wan Azizah said it is fine for Cabinet ministers to promote products by the government or their respective ministries.
“To promote products ... We don’t do it for private (companies).
“We promote products from our ministries as a way of providing support for them.
“Even when I go overseas, I bring items like Malaysian handicraft items because I want to promote the country as a whole,” she said, commenting on how Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman recently came under fire over his failure to promote a local soft drink brand.
Dr Wan Azizah said Syed Saddiq had given an explanation that his intention was purely to help out.
Syed Saddiq was criticised by the founder of the drink who claimed that the minister had failed in his promise to promote the product at the weekly Cabinet meeting.