PETALING JAYA, July 11 — Malaysia is expected to experience population shrinkage by 2072 if the fertility rate continues to fall from 1.9 in 2016 to 1.7 in 2050 as projected by the United Nations.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said despite the increasing population, the annual population growth rate is expected to keep falling to 0.7 per cent in 2050, the effect of falling fertility rate from 4.0 children in 1980 to 1.9 children in 2016.
“The drastic drop in the population fertility rate will also expedite the process of ageing population in which Malaysia is expected to become an ageing nation by 2030 when 15 per cent of the people are aged 60 and above.
“The matter will cause the country to face serious shortage of manpower which could affect the development of the country,” she said when opening a Seminar on Population Challenges in Malaysia and the launch of a book Situation Analysis on Population and Family in Malaysia here today.
Yeoh said to ensure the shortage of manpower is overcome, the labour participation rate should be improved especially among women.
“The perception of Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) as a second-class education should be rectified as it is capable of contributing to better manpower participation,” she said.
In this regard, Yeoh said the 5th Malaysia Population and Family Survey (KPKM-5) found more and more couples are not having children when they are still young.
“Among the main reason couples are not producing children are the difficulties faced by the working mother in balancing their roles at home and at work apart from several other issues such as financial constraint, late marriage and the price of housing beyond their means,” she said.
In another development, Yeoh said parents should educate their children to complain and report to adults as well as the authorities if they were sexual victims to ensure actions are taken.
“I know many children sexual abuse cases are not reported as such we are promoting Talian Kasih 15999 via video with the cooperation of Google and Malaysia Against Pornography, so children know how to report. — Bernama