THE Economy Ministry should come up with an effective blueprint to address issues pertaining to the ageing population, suggests Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
He said a specific health and economic policy is needed to assist the elderly community, as the country is foreseeing 15% of its population to be above 60 by 2030.
“Are there any policies to ensure the welfare of the elderly is taken care of? Will the age of retirement be extended because the senior citizens may need to work to support themselves, and will healthcare for those above 75 be part of the policy?” he asked in his supplementary question on the government’s long-term plans to prepare Malaysia to deal with an ageing population during Minister Question Time in the Lower House yesterday.
In a response, Deputy Economy Minister Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib Hanifah said the government would present his suggestions in the government’s National Ageing Blueprint.
“The elderly are our family members who would need such assistance, so I will present your recommendations to the strategic plan,” she added.
Hanifah earlier told the August House that the government, with the cooperation of the World Bank, is drafting the National Ageing Blueprint which is expected to be completed by next year.
She said the blueprint would address the impact on the economy, workforce productivity, social welfare and others.
Later in special chambers, Dr Wee expressed his concern about the occurrence of flash floods, particularly in Johor.
“At the Bekok Dam, 325mm of rain was recorded from Feb 28 to March 1, and this has caused excessive water to be released, affecting Yong Peng town, the Yong Peng-Segamat route and Kampung Haji Kamisan in Chaah, among others. It is time for the unity government to holistically reform climate change policies to prevent or reduce floods,” he said while calling for the review of the standard operating procedure (SOP) in the operation and maintenance of dams and dam structures.
In his reply, Deputy Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii said the SOP for the release of water from the Bekok Dam would be restudied to balance its functions as a water reserve and to mitigate floods.
Dr Wee had also asked about the principles and procedures outlined by the Local Government Development Ministry in distributing funds for repair and maintenance works on non-Muslim houses of worship.