Wanita MCA welcomes and supports the senior citizens Bill being drafted by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to ensure the government will be outfitted with the proper mechanisms through concise and practical legal provisions, as our country is expected to hold an aging population by 2030.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun revealed that her Ministry is in the midst of drafting a Bill to protect senior citizens, and is currently discussing with stakeholders. The Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament next year.
An ageing population is a common challenge posed in conjunction with the advancement of human civilisation. According to the United Nations, a country or region is defined as ageing when its people aged 65 years or older account for over 7% of the total population.
Take Singapore for example; facing an ageing population, the government devised a sustainable action plan to take care of their senior citizens by rapidly establishing governmental guidance, institutional safeguards, social participation and a home-based elderly care model.
The Singapore Retirement and Re-employment Act 2012 stipulates that employers must offer eligible employees re-employment until the age of 65. It was amended in 2017 to raise re-employment age to 67.
The existing legislation for the elderly in Singapore is worthy of a reference. Asian values place great emphasis on treasuring our elders; and protecting them through our laws is the singularly most practical, stable and solid surety we can offer.
By having sound legislation for our elderly in addition to a proper implementation plan, we can help them get the protection they deserve to carry on living their golden years happily, healthily and actively.
In order to ensure that the Bill caters to senior citizens of all walks of life, Wanita MCA will convene with the relevant NGOs and groups in the near future, so as to brainstorm and solicit views. Upon receiving all the inputs, Wanita MCA will then compile and submit a proposal to the Ministry in hopes of taking their voices to the top and help improve the senior citizen Bill.
Datuk Heng Seai Kie
Wanita MCA Chairperson