Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The other day a reader emailed me with a question. He wanted to know why many of the articles on Seniorsaloud made references to Singapore. A fair question. After all, I am a Malaysian, so shouldn't I be writing more about what's going on here in my own country?

The answer is simple. There's so much more happening on the active ageing scene in Singapore than in Malaysia. By 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be aged 65 or above. The government is going full steam implementing best practices to cater to the needs of an ageing population in the areas of healthcare, housing, employment, financial security, social integration and lifelong learning.

It's all about helping Singaporeans age actively and successfully. Take a look at these numbers:

  • $100 million to promote wellness and active ageing among seniors, as well as to enhance eldercare services.
  • $1billion for the Community Silver Trust fund to help charities caring for the elderly.
  • $9 million of the Golden Opportunities Fund has already been disbursed to organisations to carry out community projects that benefit seniors.
  • $10 million Senior's Mobility Fund to provide wheelchairs and mobility devices for needy seniors.

Minister of Health, Khaw Boon Wan, has this to say in his blog about the Mobility Fund, "The money is there, the political will is strong, we just need to connect up with the needy seniors. If you come across worthy recipients of this Senior’s Mobility Fund, please contact the neighbourhood VWOs, or your MPs. We will then do the rest."

Singaporean seniors should count themselves fortunate to have a government who does its best to look out for them. It's not all promises and little action.

Singapore is leading the way in caring for its ageing population. There's much Malaysia can learn from her southern neighbour, but the question is, will it?


Starmandala said...

Singapore is mostly middle-class, aspiring towards upper. Malaysia is mostly peasant class (fishermen/farmer/pirate), aspiring towards nouveau riche. Big difference lah.

seniorsaloud said...

Let's leave aside rural Malaysia and compare the healthcare services, both private and public, in the Greater Klang Valley and in Singapore. There's still room for improvement, even in the city of Kuala Lumpur. It's about having a vision and planning to realize that vision. It's only recently that the govt here embarked on the Government Transformation Plan. High time.