Monday, March 20, 2023


Are we baby boomers the last line of defence left to uphold and preserve filial piety? If our adult children and grandchildren seem lacking in respect for their elders, are we as much to blame as the changing times and hence, changing values? Have we pampered and mollycoddled them too much? Have we allowed them to get away with indiscipline and disrespect to their parents and grandparents?

Getting to be a common sight in the city - the elderly having to fend for themselves.

What about us? We have elderly parents in their 80s to look after. Are we exemplary models for our adult children to emulate? Can we look at ourselves in the mirror and honestly say that we have looked after our elderly parents well, and given them our love and respect?

When was the last time we held our elderly parents' hands or gave them a hug?

When was the last time we hugged our parents or held their hands? They don't need gifts of money, hampers of food or bouquets of flowers. All they want is the reassurance that they have not been forsaken and forgotten by their family members.

When our parents are gone, can we ever forgive ourselves for neglecting them in their final years? The time for us to start is right now, before the sands of time run out for our elderly parents, and it's too late for regrets.

How we treat our elderly parents is how our children will treat us one day in our old age. They will learn from us.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


KUALA LUMPUR: Gerontologist and advocate for seniors, Lily Fu (pic), wishes there are more funds for the elderly.

"Well, a bit of good news for some sectors but, generally, crumbs again for seniors. Not much to cheer about.

“If only we had a minister or an agency on aging to speak out for older people.

“All of us will age, and we also have elderly parents and grandparents. Most of the MPs are not spring chickens either.

“Why are the needs of the elderly often ignored or overlooked?” she lamented after the revised Budget 2023 was tabled at Parliament on Friday.

Fu is disappointed that there was no mention of age-friendly facilities and infrastructure or tax incentives for companies to employ older persons.

“There was no mention of special digital literacy programmes to help seniors grapple with technology.

“There was no tax allocation for families looking after the elderly who need long-term care or those with comorbidities.

“I feel that most of the allocations are catered for the B40 group,” said the 75-year-old, who is also the founder of Seniors Aloud, an online network of senior citizens.

Malaysia entered an ageing society in 2020.

With the population of its senior citizens (age 65 and above) standing at 7.3% now, the country is expected to enter an aged society about 21 years from now and eventually turn into a super-aged society in 2056.

The process is faster than previously projected due to a declining fertility rate and low birth rate.

According to the Statistics Department, a total of 439,744 babies were born in 2021, a 6.7% (31,760 births) drop from the previous year.

The Total Fertility Rate has also shown a declining trend from 4.9 children per woman of childbearing age (15 to 49 years) in 1970 to 1.7 in 2021.

Despite the Budget 2023 not targeting many goodies for senior citizens, retired teacher Josephine Odela Soosay Raj, 82, said she is still glad that overall, the budget benefits most Malaysians.

“From what I see, the budget will enable our country to move into a new phase that will see more foreign investors coming in.

“I’m also pleased that our Prime Minister is looking at the needs of the younger generation. He spoke about the problem of pornography and upgrading schools in rural areas.

“So for me, I feel that our country will have a new image,” said the former teacher of SK St Theresa 1 here.

The grandmother of five is happy about the government’s focus on the welfare of padi farmers and rubber tappers.

“A lot of money will be spent to upgrade clinics and hospitals and repair roads in flood-prone areas.

“I don’t mind that the senior citizens’ interests are left aside for now.

“Let our leader see to the needs of others. Once that’s in place, he should see to our needs,” she added.

(The above article was first published in The Star on Sunday 26 Feb 2023. The comments were made in response to the PM's Budget Speech delivered in Parliament on Fri 24 Feb.)

Monday, January 30, 2023


The happy faces reflect the success of the first book review held recently to connect the readers of  "Our Stories, Our Legacy" with the writers. More about the event in the writeup below, courtesy of Liow Moi Lee, editor of the book. 

Copies of the book are available for sale at these locations below: Mont Kiara, Bangsar and Ampang. Please contact Lily for more info. Thank you.