Senior citizens also play a major role in the development and progress of the country, religion and nation. Certainly their contribution should be recognised and their welfare given attention. The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports stressed this in support of matters pertaining to senior citizens, raised by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Awang Haji Sabtu. Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, explained that the ministry in collaboration with several other ministries and stakeholder agencies has reviewed and implemented policies in support of the senior citizens' rights and protection and at the same time encouraging their involvement in national development. Yang Berhormat added, the action plan on the senior citizen issue was approved after being assessed by the National Council on Social Issues, MKIS in May last year.
The senior citizens' action plan has three main objectives. Firstly, development for productive and independent senior citizens; second, senior citizens welfare and well-being in order to ensure the social network scope covers senior citizens protection and healthy aging, and finally, a friendly support system to ensure a friendly internal and external environment to reduce disabilities and encourage their involvement in society. Touching on the actions taken by the ministry in caring for senior citizens especially for the less fortunate, Yang Berhormat said the ministry has two approaches to the social security system, firstly, the monthly welfare assistance of which special consideration is given to ailing senior citizens even though they receive a senior citizens pension on a cash basis through a monthly welfare assistance application review committee. Secondly, social services for senior citizens who lack care and attention from family members, whereby the Community Development Department with other stakeholder agencies has conducted various interventions such as family counselling. This is to ensure that family members continue to carry out their responsibility in caring for the senior citizens. For senior citizens who do not have family support, His Majesty's government through the Community Development Department will make efforts to ensure their welfare is not neglected.
The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also shared on the senior citizens activity centres in the Brunei Muara, Tutong and Belait Districts. The latest centre to be opened was on the 13th of February this year at Kg Pandan in Belait District. The centre places both the Senior Citizens Activity Centre and the Kampaung Pandan Library under one roof and is named Bestari Community Centre. It functions as a facility for senior citizens to interact with the community in particular youths and aims to provide an opportunity for senior citizens to contribute their services to the community. The ministry has also been informed of the senior citizens desire to establish a senior citizens council and has drafted a council constitution in line with the senior citizens action plan.
Source: Radio Television Brunei