Malaysia will be classified as an ageing nation (15.3% of its total population will be over 60 years old) by 2030 and is currently placed 4th in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in terms of age-related issues. Malaysia has national policies to meet the needs of older people, but there are some barriers between policy and practice. As a result, making improvements to these policies has been slow in the past due to limited resources, and with little or no input from older people themselves.

Also, there is limited involvement in the development of disability-related programmes in Malaysia, thus ignoring the growing needs of disabled people. It is clear that with the increasing challenges faced by these groups, there is a growing need to create an inclusive approach to policy-making to ensure that Malaysian older persons and persons with disabilities are able to maintain active, productive and independent living. Inclusivity is one of the key strategic thrusts in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan, in which ProtoPolicyAsia proposed work would aim to achieve by working together with communities and government agencies.

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