Rina: RM599mil in aid channelled to senior citizens up to August

SEPANG (Bernama): The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry channelled RM559mil in aid to 138,000 senior citizens in the first eight months of this year, says its minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.

She said for this year, the government had allocated RM880mil under the Senior Citizens Assistance Scheme to be distributed to those registered under the Welfare Department.

Each recipient will get RM500 a month under the scheme.

“This (the scheme) is actually monthly cash aid and only given to senior citizens who meet certain criteria. They have to be living alone and unable to work for a living,” she said after visiting the Yayasan Al-Jenderami Complex here on Sunday (Oct 3).

Rina said it is also for those aged 60 and above with a household income that does not exceed the poverty line.

She said her ministry will continue to improve the quality of care, protection and support to enable senior citizens to be a healthy, active and productive part of society.

"These efforts include the introduction of laws to protect the rights of senior citizens, creating a comprehensive long-term framework to improve the quality of care for senior citizens as well as enhancing the social care industry.

“Awareness campaigns about having healthy senior lives will be stepped up, while senior citizen care will be made a professional career,” she said.

She added that the ministry was now talking to various parties and stakeholders about introducing a Senior Citizens Act as part of the preparation towards being an ageing nation.

“This is a new act and is still in the early discussion stage where we hope by the year 2030 there are laws to assist senior citizens in terms of jobs, flexible hours, senior citizen-friendly townships and so on.

“Based on data projections from the Statistics Department, the country is expected to be an ageing nation by 2030 in which 15.3% of the population will be 60 and above.

“At that time, the number of senior citizens in the country will be 5.8 million out of a total population of 38.1 million,” she said.

Rina said the ministry would soon be launching the e-Senior Citizens System which will act as a national integrated database for senior citizens. – Bernama

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