Fatimah presents financial assistance to a senior citizen.

SIBU: The number of senior citizens aged 65 and above in the state is expected to rise from 11 per cent or 306,800 people in 2018 to 16 per cent (526,300) in 2030.

The total population of the state in 2018 was 2.79 million and it is projected to increase to 3.29 million in 2030, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

Speaking at a gathering for OKU (person with disability) and senior citizens here on Tuesday night, Fatimah said according to the Malaysian Statistics Department, the country is expected to become an aging society by 2030 when those 60 years old and above would make up 15 per cent of the total population.

Fatimah presents financial assistance to a senior citizen.

“In line with the present and future needs, the National Senior Citizen Policy and National Senior Citizen Action Plan were passed in 2011. This has become a commitment for the government to help senior citizens to be independent, dignified and respected by using their capabilities through healthy, positive and productive means,” she added.

On financial assistance, Fatimah said the state welfare department had from January to April this year, given out a total of RM67.3 million to 56,096 recipients.

The number comprised 3,076 senior citizens who each received RM350, disability worker allowance (544 people with RM400 each), OKU and chronic illness patients (245people with RM250 each) and 961 were given an additional RM50 each.