Nanta: Parliamentary forum hopes to establish secretariat in M’sia


Nanta (second left) and others take one for the album.

SIBU (April 23): The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) has expressed hopes for its secretariat to be located in Malaysia, said Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

Nanta, who is AFPPD Malaysia chairman, said this was conveyed to him by AFPPD chairman HE Professor Keizo Takemi.

“Takemi reiterated the proposal to me during AFPPD’s 96th Executive Committee Meeting and AFPPD Standing Committee on Active Ageing Parliamentarians Meeting of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Tokyo, Japan from April 22-24,” he said in a press statement today.

He said that besides witnessing Malaysia’s active engagement in AFPPD, Takemi – who is also Japan’s Health Minister – said the country has been deemed fit to host the international body, which consists of 30 member countries globally.

“Its strategic location and geopolitical stability in Asia play an important role for the consideration, and this is evidence of Malaysia’s high competency and visibility in its contribution to the global agenda,” said the Works Minister.

The meeting and conference were organised by the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and the Forum of Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAPPD).

Malaysia’s delegation was led by Nanta, with a delegation of five MPs – Ipoh Timor MP Lee Chuan How; AFPPD Malaysia deputy chairman and Tampin MP Dato Mohd Isam Mohd Isa; Miri MP Chiew Choon Man; Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis Fakharudy; and Kapar MP Dr Halimah Ali.

The forum witnessed participation from Japan, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, China, Cambodia, Bahrain, Algeria, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Thailand, Syria, Sri Lanka, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Morocco.

Themed ‘Leaving No One Behind in an Ageing World’, the forum provided a platform for all parliamentarians from various countries to engage in fruitful discussions and exchanges of insight on policies and strategies aimed at safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of the youth and elderly.

Nanta said that as a nation committed to the principles of inclusivity and equity, Malaysia recognizes the importance of addressing the unique challenges posed by demographic shifts, particularly the ageing population.

“The United Nations has projected Malaysia to become an ageing nation by the year 2030, with 15 per cent of its population comprised of those aged 60 and above. This potentially affects the country’s development, as a huge portion of the population goes into retirement and requires more care.

“Various efforts have been conducted by the government to empower senior Malaysians and encourage ageing in a healthy manner. In the speech I delivered at the forum today, I reaffirmed Malaysia’s stance in using artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies to play a critical role in empowering older people and support health ageing,” he said.

Nanta said through programmes carried out by various ministries in Malaysia, the use of AI and digital technology have been implemented to make improvements to services for senior citizens and make them available to everyone.

He added that as Malaysia commemorates the ICPD’s 30th anniversary, the country remains steadfast in advancing the rights and dignity of everyone regardless of age.