Malaysia to learn from other coun­tries to guide pol­icy de­ci­sions

New Straits Times - - News - FARHANA SYED NOKMAN KUALA LUMPUR farhanasyed@nst.com.my

EF­FEC­TIVE pub­lic poli­cies from dif­fer­ent coun­tries will be used as guides for Malaysia in im­prov­ing its in­clu­sive so­ci­eties poli­cies, par­tic­u­larly on the age­ing pop­u­la­tion, em­pow­er­ment of women and so­cial in­no­va­tion.

Dur­ing the on­go­ing United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion (Unesco) Man­age­ment of So­cial Trans­for­ma­tions Pro­gramme (MOST) fo­rum, ex­perts from 75 coun­tries will share their suc­cess sto­ries in im­ple­ment­ing so­cial trans­for­ma­tion pro­grammes.

Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­istry sec­re­tary-gen­eral Datuk Dr Rose Lena Lazemi said it was es­ti­mated that Malaysia would be an aged na­tion by 2030 where about 5.8 mil­lion peo­ple, or 15 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, would be aged 60 years and above.

“To date, the num­ber of older per­sons is 2.82 mil­lion (or 9.1 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion).

“In prepa­ra­tion for this de­mo­graphic change and to en­sure the well­be­ing of older peo­ple, the Na­tional Pol­icy and Plan of Ac­tion for Older Per­sons in 2011 is look­ing into the po­ten­tial of the el­derly so that they re­main ac­tive and pro­duc­tive in na­tional de­vel­op­ment,” Rose said.

She said be­sides fo­cus­ing on the el­derly, the min­istry was also re­spon­si­ble for op­ti­mis­ing the po­ten­tial of women in terms of so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“In the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016 to 2020), the gov­ern­ment has set forth a plan to in­crease women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the labour force to 59 per cent by 2020.

“The par­tic­i­pa­tion rate of women in the labour force has in­creased from 5.5 mil­lion in 2015 to 5.6 mil­lion in the third quar­ter of last year,” she said.

Rose said more than 23,000 el­derly peo­ple had ben­e­fited from the min­istry’s so­cial in­no­va­tions pro­gramme, such as its home help and mo­bile care ser­vices.

“Both in­no­va­tions were de­signed to pro­vide sup­port ser­vices and trans­port for health treat­ment and other pur­poses for el­derly peo­ple who live alone.”

Themed “Build­ing In­clu­sive So­ci­eties”, the fo­rum, which is be­ing held at Sun­way Pu­tra Ho­tel here, will be of­fi­ci­ated to­day by the Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ro­hani Ab­dul Karim, who is also MOST In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Coun­cil pres­i­dent.

Up­com­ing pro­grammes in­clude a round­table dis­cus­sion on so­cial in­no­va­tion in which Science, Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Wil­fred Ma­dius Tan­gau will also par­tic­i­pate.

Ro­hani will host an of­fi­cial din­ner at Saloma Bistro and Theatre Restau­rant here tonight.

Tomorrow, the round­table dis­cus­sion will re­volve around ef­forts to em­power women. Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid will share his ex­per­tise with other coun­tries.

Lastly, Ro­hani, to­gether with Cook Is­lands Health Min­is­ter Nandi Tuaine Glassie and Mal­dives Gen­der and Fam­ily Min­is­ter Ami­nath Zenysha Sha­heed Zaki, will dis­cuss mat­ters con­cern­ing the age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

The event, which be­gan on March 14, will end tomorrow.

MOST is a pro­gramme un­der Unesco’s Com­mis­sion of So­cial Sciences. Unesco aims to de­sign, co­or­di­nate and im­ple­ment its pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to so­cial sciences, in­clu­siv­ity and gen­der equal­ity.

Malaysia has been ap­pointed as Unesco ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber for the du­ra­tion 2015 to 2019 through the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry.

MOST was launched to strengthen the dis­sem­i­na­tion of knowl­edge to mem­ber states by en­cour­ag­ing ev­i­dence-in­formed ap­proaches through sus­tained di­a­logues be­tween re­searchers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers.

Datuk Dr Rose Lena Lazemi

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