SIBU, April 23 — Malaysia is seeing a sharp increase in its ageing population, where currently 11.1 per cent of the total population are older persons, said Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) Malaysia chairman Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

He explained that in Malaysia, older persons are defined as those aged 60 years and above.

“The United Nations projected Malaysia to become an ageing nation by the year 2030, when 15 per cent of its population will comprise of those aged 60 and above. This potentially affects the country’s development, as a huge portion of the population goes into retirement and requires more care,” he said.

Nanta was speaking at the 96th Executive Committee Meeting of AFPPD and AFPPD Standing Committee on Active Ageing Parliamentarians Meeting of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Tokyo, Japan today.


Adding on, he said that as a country’s population ages, there is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies play a critical role in empowering older persons and supporting healthy ageing, including in Malaysia.

He said in this context, AI and digital technologies emerge as invaluable tools in revolutionizing the way ageing and healthcare is approached.

“These technologies offer innovative solutions that can enhance preventative care, improve diagnostics, personalise treatments and empower individuals to manage their health proactively.


“Malaysia views AI as one of the crucial emerging technologies, with a need to focus on balanced development for economic benefits while managing associated risks because as much as we welcome the opportunities of digital transformation, we must also recognise the risks they bring,” he said.

He pointed out the current wave of digital transformation has imposed additional challenges for older persons to keep pace with emerging technologies, which has created additional gaps between those who can own these technologies and harness them for self-development and those who are at risk of being left out.

“As such, Malaysia has paid special attention to digitalisation and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has led this national effort by developing the National Artificial Intelligence Roadmap (AI-Rmap) 2021-2025.

“The roadmap signifies the government’s commitment and significant step forward in the field of AI, and aligns with the aims of the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation 2021-2030; the 10-10 Malaysia Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy Framework; and other national policies and programmes that support AI development and implementation such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint and National 4IR Policy,” he said.

He said AI is one of the foundation technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the AI-Rmap is a game-changer in Malaysia’s quest to leapfrog towards becoming a high-tech nation by 2030.

Nanta also mentioned that Malaysia has developed a mobile app which aims to transform the way older persons access and use transportation services.

“As much as we welcome the advancement of technologies, it is essential to address technological barriers, ensure inclusivity and prioritise ethical considerations to maximise the benefits for seniors nationwide, including legal aspects.

“As we harness the power of AI and digital technologies to support healthy ageing, we must remain vigilant in addressing ethical, privacy and equity considerations. We must ensure these technologies are deployed responsibly, with a focus on transparency and accountability, while prioritising data security and privacy,” he said. — The Borneo Post