The government will continue to give special attention, especially to the senior citizens, as the country prepares itself to be an ageing nation by 2030.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun said the percentage of senior citizens or those above the age of 60 is expected to increase drastically to 5.3 million in the next 10 years.
“In 2020, there were 3.7 million senior citizens in the country. This is expected to increase by 15.3% to 5.3 million in 2030,” she said at an event in Kangar today.
She said studies also showed that almost 23% or 538,000 individuals out of 2.4 million senior citizens in the country suffered from “empty nest syndrome” as they are on their own and away from their children.
She said this loneliness and depression might affect their health and limit their role as members of society.
She said the government through the women, family and community development ministry would emphasise the Strategic Plan 2021 to 2025 on the development of senior citizens in the country.
She added that under Budget 2021, the government had raised the annual financial aid for each Senior Citizen Activity Centre from RM33,330 to RM50,000 for them to carry out programmes and activities in line with the concept of active and productive senior citizens.
The government has allocated RM7.15 million this year for the operation of 143 centres nationwide which reflects its commitment to improving the quality of life of senior citizens, she said.