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Senior citizens who are healthy should be allowed to work and be gainfully employed.

WITH a segment of the population past 60 years old and constituting about 3.3 million of our population of 32 million, it’s time to consider raising the age of retirement to at least 65.

In developed nations, the retirement age is 65 on the average unless they opt for early retirement. These countries see this group as a plus factor and an asset.

To retire at 60 is a waste of manpower as many in that age bracket are healthy and can share their expertise. How many of these talented senior citizens were forced into their sunset years when they could still be gainfully employed?

Their knowledge cannot be acquired overnight.

Their experience will just go down the drain unless organisations are willing to extend their employment.

Inevitably, retirees get depressed and suffer serious illnesses due to inactivity. Walk into a hospital and you will see those seeking medical attention are from this age bracket.

With the rising cost of living, many families are hard-pressed to provide for their ageing parents who, in most cases, have exhausted their savings to support their children through tertiary education.

However, their children see their ageing elders a financial burden.

The nation benefited from this group during their employable years and to discard them when they reach 60 without offering any option or other work is a waste of their skills.

In the long run, the nation has no alternative but to support them by providing medical care when they could be absorbed productively into the workforce while they are physically and mentally able.

Our society has not considered this issue seriously by creating a conducive environment where the 3.3 million can be gainfully employed.

DR TAN ENG BEE

Kajang, Selangor

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