ALOR GAJAH: The initiative to expand the Senior Citizens Activity Centres (PAWE) at the community level by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) is seen as capable of addressing overcrowding issues at Rumah Seri Kenangan nationwide.

Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said it also aimed to ensure the elderly remained productive and could lead safer, more comfortable daily lives.

“We admit that the capacity of the 10 existing Rumah Seri Kenangan is no longer able to accommodate the increasing number of senior citizens, especially when the country is becoming an ageing nation.

“Therefore, we hope the establishment of PAWE will provide the much-needed assistance for this group,” she told reporters after launching the Community-Based Organisation (CBO) Directory KPWKM@Alor Gajah at Kompleks Penyayang Alor Gajah here today.

She noted that even though there are many private care centres, not all elderly citizens can afford them, and as such, the government allows the establishment of more than one PAWE in every parliamentary constituency, compared to just one previously.

“The ministry encourages interested communities to apply for allocation of up to RM50,000 per year for PAWE implementation,” she said, adding that local communities have the flexibility to organise activities according to their needs to prevent the centres from becoming underutilised.

“For this reason, we also allow them to use their respective Neighbourhood Watch Area (KRT) address when applying if they do not have dedicated premises or land to implement the programme,” she said.

In another development, Nancy called for enhanced cooperation with the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to train more individuals interested in caring for the elderly or those in need, including children.

“We are planning to train more people in this field by working with the private sector and NGOs, while also identifying more effective mechanisms to drive the industry forward,” she said. -Bernama

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