Malaysia needs to prepare now to address ageing population problem in 2050, says economist

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to prepare now to address the ageing society problem which is expected to account for 15% of the population by 2035, failing which, it could bring about massive impact to the country's economic health.

DM Analytics Managing Director and Chief Economist Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid said Malaysians aged above 60 years and above now accounted for eight percent of the population,

He explained that the speed at which the population was ageing was the fastest in the world.

"This (Malaysia's population problem) is a serious issue that is not being given enough attention. In 2050, we will be in serious trouble.

"The entire structure of the economy and ideology needs to be changed, because in future, when we have less workers, it means we are going to collect less tax which will translate to lower capability for expenditure. Who is going to finance this?" he said.

Muhammed was speaking to reporters at a forum on "Malaysia's Population in 2050: What Does This Mean Socio-Economically?" held here today.

He said Malaysia, at present, did not have a comprehensive policy to address the ageing population issue.

In addition, Muhammed said the country's fertility rate, which currently stood at an alarming rate, could provide additional pressure on productivity and consumption, going forward, thus impacting economic growth.

In Malaysia, a Malay couple had, on average, two children while their Indian and Chinese counterparts were producing less. — Bernama