KUALA LUMPUR: Protections for the elderly will soon be mandatory under the law. The provisions under the new legislation will be based on the findings of research currently being undertaken by Universiti Malaya.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said various factors will be taken into consideration before the legislation is passed.
“We realise that there are many different categories of people among the elderly,” she said. “There are those who are motivated to do a lot of things but there also are others who do not have the strength to engage in any task.”
Official data shows that there are about three million Malaysians categorised as “elderly”.
The government would have to cater to the needs of everyone before the legislation is passed, she told reporters at the launch of an e-donation drive called ’Enabling a cashless and socially responsible society’ here on Saturday.
The e-donation drive, launched by Boost, is an app that enables users to donate to non-governmental organisations through their smartphones.
Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the government is studying the time banking system as practised in the Scandinavian countries to ascertain if it can be implemented in Malaysia.
The system, which uses people’s time and talent as a currency, has been successful at addressing needs such as childcare for minorities, single parents and the unemployed.
Earlier, she said Malaysians should not just wait for special occasions to lend a helping hand.
“We should strive to help others and that does not always mean giving money. Reading to the blind, giving tuition to poor students and spending time with those in old folks homes are all part of giving back to society,” she pointed out.
Wan Azizah said the advent of new technology has provided access to efficient services and thus more opportunities to help others.
She cited Boost’s e-donation initiative as an example of how technology can play a role in mobilising people to become more socially responsible and work towards the common good.
Within a year of its launching, a total of RM317,000 has been collected for the benefit of NGOs, charities and other organisations.