More training needed to foster productive employment: Malaysia’s Economy Minister

Malaysia has transitioned into an ageing society, where 7% or more of the population are aged 65 and above.
By: | November 27, 2020

Policies are needed to foster productive employment in Malaysia, such as more opportunities for training and lifelong learning so that Malaysians can work longer in less physically demanding jobs, and live a longer and healthier life, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“As in nearly all high-income countries, longer working lives will, in turn, require gradual adjustments to the age when most Malaysians retire,” the minister said at the launch of a World Bank report studying Malaysia’s ageing population and its impact on the economy. 

In 2020, Malaysia has transitioned into an ageing society, which is defined as having 7% or more of the population aged 65 and above. After 24 years, it will become an aged society, with the share of the population aged 65 and above reaching 14%, stated the report. 

“Rapid aging will be one of the most crucial megatrends affecting Malaysia in coming decades, raising policy challenges in areas such as employment, income security, health care, and aged care”, the World Bank added.

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Datuk Mustapa further added that the provision of minimum income protection for older Malaysians requires further improvements in its coverage: “The EPF’s (Employees’ Provident Fund) i-Saraan scheme and Socso’s (the Social Security Organisation) Self Employment Social Security Scheme point in the right direction, but there remains scope for strengthening linkages between these schemes, and for further collaboration with industry associations.”

“It will also be crucial to continuously improve the aged care infrastructure, and service standards to ensure the health and safety of residents of aged care homes,” he added.