20th Merdeka Award Roundtable – Malaysia’s Ageing Population: Economic Drag or Opportunity



The Merdeka Award Roundtable is a half-hour television talk show produced in partnership with ASTRO Awani. The topic for the 20th Merdeka Award Roundtable is: “Malaysia’s Ageing Population: Economic Drag or Opportunity”

The topic will focus on proposed action plan to prepare the economic and social shifts associated with an ageing population, to ensure continued progress in development.

Projection suggests that by 2035, Malaysia will become an ageing nation as 15 per cent of the population are classified as senior citizens (60 years or older). Malaysia has enacted the National Policy for Older Persons which looks into ways to expand community-based programme, ensure adequate provision of shelters, promote life-long learning as well as employment opportunities for the older population.

The Roundtable will also explore the economic and social benefits to having an aged nation. Aligning and preparing the current workforce for the increasing demand for aged care services in the future could be a way to mitigate impacts of an ageing nation and drive economic growth. Frost & Sullivan forecasts the Asia Pacific healthcare market (consisting of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare technology) is expected to grow to USD510.7 billion in 2017, up from USD472.5 billion in 2016.

The framework for the 20th Merdeka Award Roundtable discussion will review different sectors of society in Malaysia that is related to the issue:

  • Labour and financial: Workforce supporting a growing number of elderly, tax collection and spending, GDP growth or slow down
  • Demands for goods and services: Housing, transportation, aged care services
  • Healthcare: Stress on system (increased life expectancy), mobility
  • Social protection: Pension payments, rethinking retirement age, family structures


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