KAJANG, Malaysia - The Government will decide by the end of this year on whether to come up with a law to compel children to look after their aged parents.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said the ministry was getting feedback on the matter from various quarters including law experts.
"We will decide whether we should enact a law or come up with programmes to inculcate stronger family values by educating the public in order to prevent the elderly from being abandoned," she said after launching the fourth general meeting of the senior citizen welfare association yesterday.
She said the move was in line with the ministry's efforts to prepare for an aging society by the year 2030.
Azizah said by 2030, it was expected that 15 per cent of the Malaysian population would consist of senior citizens.
Senior citizens are defined as those aged above 60.
"Currently, some 2.2 million people or 7.7 per cent of our total 28.3 million population in Malaysia are senior citizens.
"This number is expected to increase to 15 per cent by 2030 and we must ensure that the welfare of senior citizens are looked after in future," she said, adding that life expectancies were also projected to be longer with the improved quality of the country's health care.
Azizah said as such, the needs of senior citizens must be looked into.
"We have set up committees in each state to implement our policy on senior citizens to garner feedback from the public," she said.