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Ageing in Southeast and East Asia

Family, Social Protection, Policy Challenges

Lee Hock Guan

Publication Year: 2008

Southeast and East Asian countries are undergoing varying stages of population ageing. The social, economic and political implications of population ageing will be enormous, and because of the fast speed of ageing in the region, the countries cannot afford the luxury of time for the gradual evolution of social and structural support systems and networks for the older population. The essays in this volume critically examine national ageing policies and programmes, the sustainability of existing pension systems, housing and living arrangements, inter-generational transfer, and aspects of quality of life of the elderly population. While the findings show that most Southeast Asian countries have started to formulate and implement national ageing policies, they also indicate that the existing policies are by and large inadequate and underdeveloped in serving the needs of the older population and indeed much more must be done to prepare for the future.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The chapters in this volume are selected from papers delivered at a two-day workshop, titled “Ageing and the Status of the Older Population in Southeast Asia”, organized by ISEAS from 22 to 23 November 2004. The workshop was partially funded with a grant from the Lee Foundation....


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xv

In recognition of the situation of older persons in the world, 1999 was declared as the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. Following the Second World Assembly on Ageing held in April 2002 in Madrid, Spain, the inaugural ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social...

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1. The Pension System in Japan and Retirement Needs of the Japanese Elderly

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pp. 1-21

Japan is the world’s most rapidly ageing country due to its having the longest life expectancy. In 2003, life expectancy at birth for males was 78.36 years, up by 0.04 years from that of the previous year, and that for females was 85.33 years, up by 0.10 years.1 In 2004, there were 24.9 million elderly (65 years...

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2. The Central Provident Fund and Financing Retirement Needs of Elderly Singaporeans

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pp. 22-39

Many Singaporeans depend exclusively on a fully funded mandatory defined contribution (DC) social security system. The system, which is based on individual accounts, is administered and managed by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower. The...

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3. Ageing and Ageing Policies in the Republic of Korea

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pp. 40-65

In the field of Korean sociology, little attention has been paid to ageing and the problems of older persons. By 1995 only three of the many articles published in the Korean Journal of sociology were on ageing, and only a few members of the Korean Sociological Association were also members of the...

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4. Singapore's Response to an Ageing Population

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pp. 66-88

Of the ten ASEAN countries, Singapore has the highest proportion of the population that is elderly or aged2 (defined as those aged 60 years and older) although Indonesia has the largest number by far (Figure 4.1). According to the United Nations, Singapore’s elderly made up nearly 11 per cent of the...

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5. Public Policy Towards the Elderly in Indonesia

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pp. 89-107

"In the past, old age policy has not been a major priority for the Indonesian" "Government, due to the fact that the number of elderly Indonesians (those who are 60 years of age or older) only formed a small percentage of Indonesia’s population. The government focused most of its priorities on younger"...

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6. National Policy for the Elderly in Malaysia: Achievements and Challenges

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pp. 108-133

"The global population grew from one billion to six billion between 1804" "and 1999, with the highest rate of growth (2 per cent) occurring as late as" "the 1960s. The world’s most recent billion took only 12 years to accomplish" "and life expectancy at birth grew from about 30 years two centuries ago to"...

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7. Ageing Policies and Programmes in Thailand

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pp. 134-154

It is now widely recognized that the demographic trends of the past decades in many developing countries, including Thailand, are leading to unprecedented increases not only in the absolute numbers of older persons, but also in their relative proportion to the population. At the same time,...

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8. Family and Housing Conditions of the Elderly in Southeast Asia: Living Arrangement as Social Support

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pp. 155-167

Population ageing is a phenomenon of the 20th century. During the first half of the last century up to as late as the 1970s, concern with population issues largely centred on high growth rates fuelled by high fertility and falling mortality, the transition stage in the theory of demographic transition. Today...

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9. Quality of Life of the Elderly in Singapore's Multiracial Society

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pp. 168-189

Social definitions of the elderly vary from one society to another. In general, the conventional age set for retirement reflects the social recognition of old age, as well as the socio-economic context of that society. When the socioeconomic attributes of society change, the age limit for retirement is also...

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10. Life Events, Stress and Life Satisfaction Among Older Adults in Malaysia

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pp. 190-215

It is widely acknowledged that the number of elderly in Malaysia has been increasing. It is projected that by year 2020 the proportion of those aged 60 years or older will likely constitute 9.5 per cent of the total population (Department of Statistics 2000). In the past, studies on the elderly in Malaysia...

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11. Multigenerational Families in Singapore

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pp. 216-229

The maintenance of close relational ties within multigenerational families has long been a cultural ideal in Asian families. In the discussion of the concept of the Asian family discussed in sociological literature, the high level of interdependence which is maintained even after adult children are married...

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12. Support Transfers Between Elderly Parents and Adult Children in Indonesia

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pp. 230-244

The success of Indonesia’s population policy, particularly the family planning programme, has resulted in lowering the fertility rate as indicated by the decrease in the total fertility rate (TFR) from 5.6 in 1967 to 2.3 in 2000. Conversely, the combination of low fertility with rising life expectancies has...


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pp. 245-247

E-ISBN-13: 9789812307941
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812307668

Page Count: 247
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Older people -- Southeast Asia -- Economic conditions -- Congresses.
  • Older people -- East Asia -- Economic conditions -- Congresses.
  • Older people -- Southeast Asia -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Older people -- East Asia -- Social conditions -- Congresses.
  • Aging -- Government policy -- Southeast Asia -- Congresses.
  • Aging -- Government policy -- East Asia -- Congresses.
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