State govt mulls insurance scheme that provides financial assistance to senior citizens

Abang Johari delivering his speech during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry at a hotel here today. Photo Credit: Sarawak Information Department.

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Oct 6: The Sarawak government is formulating an insurance scheme that will provide a form of financial assistance to senior citizens in Sarawak to cope with their retirement years with the higher cost of living in the future.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said discussions were underway between the State government, State Treasury Department and the Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry on the proposal to assist senior citizens in Sarawak via certain financial assistances due to the ageing population.


“Our insurance scheme has to be formulated so that we will always have funds to cover the cost of living for senior citizens.

“Because of that, I am analysing the best instrument which will be able to give welfare assistance to this growing number of the (ageing) population,” Abang Johari said in his speech in conjunction with the 10th anniversary celebration of the Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry at a hotel here today.

He said some of those aged 70 might be unable to work and those aged 80 might have their retirement funds in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) exhausted.

Thus, he said the State government is looking into providing financial assistance to senior citizens who face financial difficulties.

Earlier, he said Sarawak is moving towards an ageing population similar to the situation in Japan, China and Singapore, whereby the number of senior citizens will increase over the next 10 years.

He noted that the number of those aged 60 and above is projected to increase by 15 to 20 per cent by 2030.

Thus, he believed the cost of living in the future will be high.

Abang Johari also noted that there has been a request for the pension age to be raised.

Among those present at the 10th anniversary celebration of Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry were Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Ministers of Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Datuk Rosey Yunus, Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry permanent secretary Dr Rasidah Bolhassan and Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail. — DayakDaily