April 25, 2011

MALAYSIA: "Jail children who dump parents"

KUALA LUMPUR / The New Straits Times / Letters / April 25, 2011

By James Gonzales

A SENIOR citizen is one who retires from effective employment.

We must all be prepared to adapt to this new chapter in our lives and move gracefully into the twilight stage before we depart from this world.

We are now living in the era of 1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now. When I reflect on this noble concept, it also entails not neglecting our senior citizens.

It is disturbing to note that many of our senior citizens have been abandoned by their children or next of kin in government hospitals and end up in welfare homes.

How hurt these parents must feel when the children whom they brought up with affection and care discard them.

Many senior citizens have contributed tremendously towards the economic development and prosperity of our country but are treated shabbily when they are no longer an asset to the country and society.

Have we lost our moral compass and compassion as a caring society?

It is time Malaysia introduced legislation to jail children who dump their parents at hospitals and give false addresses so that they cannot be contacted.

Perhaps the government should devise programmes to ensure the elderly are treated with respect and dignity for their past contributions. It would complement the 1Malaysia concept.