Old-age Pension For Citizens - An Excellent Idea.
A prominent Sarawak social activist, Datuk Seri Ang Lai Soon, who made the suggestion Sunday, said a majority of the aged in the country had either very limited income or no savings at all to enable them to fend for themselves. "As a voluntary social worker I can see how life can be quite miserable for those senior citizens faced with financial and other problems," Ang said at the annual inspection parade of the Kuching Town Secondary School's St John Ambulance here.
Ang, who is chairman and commander of Sarawak's St John Ambulance, said Malaysia, being blessed with rich natural resources, could afford such a pension scheme as was done in many developed countries. "I don't think it is too much to ask that the elderly be treated with respect and be provided with the means of living out of the autumn of their lives in a comfortable, secure and pleasant environment. "Indeed I feel we owe it to them. Surely this is a problem we need to solve now, as even one elderly person living without adequate care and food in an uncomfortable, uncaring environment is one too many," he said. And he added: "Let us not forget that most of us here today could also end up in the predicament unless we find solutions now. It is a challenge we have to face".
Ang also praised grateful children who take care of their parents, citing the example of a highly qualified Malaysian medical specialist who is doing extremely well overseas but is coming home soon to be with her father, who had made a lot of sacrifices for his children's education.
Another case he mentioned was that of a man who chose to resign from his job to take care of his disabled father. "Moving stories like these touch the heart. It proves that there is still love and compassion in this hectic and materialistic world," he said.
Ang also called on more students, especially undergraduates, to join St John Ambulance, the world's oldest humanitarian organisation, as volunteers to serve the community and country.
**** I personally think it is an excellent idea if it can be practically implemented without too much of a dent on the Treasury. The old folks deserve the best that we can give them.
On a personal note Datuk Seri Ang Lai Soon is a close friend of my late father and the family still treasures the souvenirs he used to send us now and then from Sarawak.