KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 6 – Bandar Kuching hopeful Dr. Kelvin Yii today said that one of the main policies he would put forward in parliament – if Pakatan Harapan (PH) wins federal power – is a national preparedness plan for the care economy and the aging of the community and adapted to the elderly. Strategies.
The incumbent DAP MP, who is defending his parliamentary seat for the PH in the 15th general election, noted that his constituency in Sarawak’s capital is an aging community, with 32% of voters aged 61 and over.
Malaysia has already achieved aging nation statusthe population aged 65 and over is expected to reach 7.3% this year, according to the Ministry of Finance’s 2023 Economic Outlook report, reaching the 7% threshold for the conventional international definition of an “aging society”.
A November 2020 report The World Bank projected that Malaysia would become an “aged society” by 2044, with 14% of the population expected to be over 65. By 2056, Malaysia will be a “super-aged society”, with more than 20% of its population over the age of 65.
“During the past four years serving the capital city of Sarawak, I often receive calls from elderly constituents who live alone asking for help as they have no one to turn to,” Dr Yii said. in a press release.
“This is why the government must help the senior to live with dignity and independence while benefiting from sufficient medical support.
“Without systemic intervention, the impact of an aging population is enormous – from lower productivity and economic growth to increased pressure on public spending programs, such as health care and pensions.”
Dr Yii, however, suggested that the problems associated with an aging population could become an economic asset rather than a burden.
“This includes integrating a ‘care economy’ to train carers and provide subsidized care and care allowances so that Malaysians don’t have to choose between working and caring for their elderly parents.
“It also aims to professionalise the care sector, provide support and allowances for carers, as well as tax incentives for employers of carers.”
The PH care economy proposal – as indicated in its electoral manifesto GE15 – is mainly based on the professionalisation of the care sector by strengthening capacities and training to achieve support for carers according to the aging of the population by 2035.
The coalition also proposes making one-stop care facilities mandatory in property development plans, in addition to expanding mobile care services.
Dr Yii also said a care economy would help boost women’s labor force participation rate – which fell to 51% in 2021 from 52% in 2019, according to World Bank figures – noting that women were often designed to be informal carers for their parents and children.
“More and more women are now breadwinners and taking on more responsibilities since the pandemic hit. Such a policy can allow for a more flexible workforce for women and young families, which will help increase productivity,” he said.
“No one should ever be put in this position where they have to make a choice between working and caring for their parents.”
Dr. Yii will race in Bandar Kuching against Tay Tze Kok (GPS-SUPP) and Voon Lee Shan (PBK).