As Malaysia matures, we will likely see a larger older population. As this generation gets older, many of them look at their approaching retirement date as a dreadful day. Many who retire do not know what to do with themselves as they are suddenly pigeon-holed as a “retiree”.
Retirement is a dreadful word for a life transition. It tells you that you are no more a productive worker, or member of the society. We need to stop this label. The Government should not dictate when a person should retire unless they wish to retire or they retire because of health reasons.
An employer should have the choice to keep the person employed after a certain age. Does it make sense that a person’s creative power fades away after a certain age? Or suddenly switched off at a certain age? Do they suddenly turn into non-functioning, non-creative human beings overnight?
I suggest Malaysia takes the first step in abolishing “retirement” altogether.
1. Let the person or the business decide when the person should or can retire. Our Prime Minister is functioning well into his 90s.
2. Let schools be an elderly education center at night. We can teach the elderly an array of skills – things they never thought they could or would learn. They have the time to explore and have fun.
3. Employ them in hospitals to help with the paper work or general upkeep.
4. Employ them in schools to help the teachers with their paperwork or even upkeeping of the schools.
5. Teach them social entrepreneurship!
These are just a few ideas. But with a bit more thought, tenacity, resolve and political will, these ideas can become a reality.
Let’s cherish every generation.
Just my two cents.