I must say that arry’s account of what he saw on television struck me as fairly surprising. Obviously I didn’t see the programme he saw, but a policy stance of the kind he suggests would be internationally controversial. You’d expect it to be widely discussed. But, like Airzone, I don’t find any trace of it on the web.
Here (http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/re ... /5/444.pdf
) is an article on the challenge of providing health services for older people in Malaysia; it makes no mention of such a policy. On the other hand, it dates from 2003; the policy could be a later innovation.
Yet the stereotype of Asian cultures is that they are respectful of the aged, valuing their experience and wisdom. Asians are perhaps the last
culture that we would expect to discard their elders on the basis that they are, essentially, used up. True, it’s only a stereotype, but stereotypes generally get to be stereotypes by having some
kernel of truth buried in them.
What could well be happening is that Malaysia is facing a demographic challenge. Rising prosperity, improvements in nutrition and improvements in primary health care could be leading to a relatively rapid increase in life expectancy, with the result that the proportion of older people in the Malaysian population is projected to rise rapidly in the coming decades, with a corresponding fall in the proportion of younger (taxpaying) people. (Many European countries are facing a similar challenge, but for a different reason; falling birthrates. Australia faces yet another version of the same challenge because of a tail-off in immigration, relative to population.)
What may be happening is that Malaysia needs to commit to spending a lot more on the healthcare of older people than it currently does, because demand is inevitably going to rise, and there may be political argument about how, and to what extent, and at whose expense, this is to be accomplished.
Those who feel that not enough is being done to recognise and face up to this challenge may well characterise the position as one of refusing to spend money on healthcare for older people; others might describe it quite differently.