November 14, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR – With Malaysia expected to become an aged nation as early as 2044, the National Ageing Blueprint (NAB) study is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, says Deputy Economy Minister Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib.
She said the NAB would be an umbrella policy framework to address issues and challenges related to the elderly, adding that the study was progressing well.
Based on the definition set by the United Nations, Hanifah said the World Bank had projected that Malaysia would transition from an ageing nation to an aged nation in 2044.
An aged nation is defined as 14% of the population aged 65 and above.
In 2021, Malaysia was categorised as an ageing nation, with 2.3 million people, or 7% of its population, aged 65 and above.
“The development of the NAB is a timely response to this demographic structural shift, to ensure that we are well-prepared to face the transition towards an aged nation,” Hanifah told The Star.
She said Malaysia’s transition period of about 23 years from being an ageing nation to an aged nation was faster than several developed nations such as France (115 years), Australia (73 years), and the United States (69 years).
Future planning for this transition, she said, was not limited to elderly care and welfare policies alone but also included strategies and actions for dealing with new challenges in the fields of health, education, finance, employment and productivity.
ALSO READ: Improve mobility for the aged
“Thus, the framework will help to synergise population ageing policies in our socio-economic planning and development promptly, with a clear vision to promote and sustain social well-being.
“It also provides mechanisms to put into operation the policy strategies with target-oriented action plans for the short, medium and long term, in which their performance will be monitored and evaluated periodically,” she added.
Corresponding to the ageing population challenges and risks in terms of economic and social impact, key blueprint policies will be categorised into five clusters, namely financial, health, human capital and education, wellbeing and economy, said Hanifah.
“This includes macro-fiscal, labour market, health and aged care, long-term care and social protection.”
She said stakeholders’ engagement had also been one of the critical components in developing the blueprint, with multilevel stakeholders from the government, private, industry, non-governmental agencies, and others engaged in the development process.
“Their inputs provide valuable and accurate information to formulate the blueprint study as well as relevant policy strategies and actions,” she added.
Hanifah also called upon all parties to work hand in hand with the government to mobilise energy, commitment, and efforts to prepare the country to face the impacts and challenges as well as seize opportunities from this demographic shift.