March 16, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR – Putrajaya is aiming to table a senior citizens Bill in Parliament next year, says Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Aiman Athirah Sabu.
She said the Bill is a measure to protect the elderly as the country heads towards becoming an ageing nation by 2030.
“The Bill is targeted for first reading in Parliament in 2024,” she told the Dewan Rakyat during Question Time on Wednesday (March 15).
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She was responding to Mohd Sany Hamzan (PH-Hulu Langat), who asked if the ministry would introduce a law to cut the salaries of unfilial children who neglected their parents.
In welcoming Mohd Sany’s proposal, Aiman said the ministry has comprehensive initiatives to look after the welfare of senior citizens if their children are not capable.
For instance, Aiman said the Welfare Department has the Rumah Seri Kenangan (RSK) and Rumah Ehsan (RE) for impoverished senior citizens.
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“RSK is to protect poor senior citizens’ quality of life. RE is to provide care, treatment and protection to old, poor senior citizens without any relatives or children so they can live in peace and comfort.
“These institutions are funded by the government and no charges are imposed on their residents,” she added.
In announcing the planned Bill, Aiman said the ministry was also looking at taking action against irresponsible children of aged parents.
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“The ministry will look at the suitability of laws against such errant children to ensure that (there is) public awareness (about) the importance of looking after senior citizens,” she said.
Some 2,144 senior citizens have been abandoned at hospitals across the country from 2018 till June last year, she told the House.
In 2020 alone, 752 senior citizens were abandoned and of that number, 412 were placed in welfare homes.