Mahathir Humblebrags When Denying Need To Raise Retirement Age, Says He Was ‘Called Back’ To Work

Malaysia PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad Says Keeping Retirement Age At 60 Is Enough, Can’t Use Him As Comparison

After the National Day Rally 2019, chatter swelled around the retirement age in Singapore. It will be raised from 62 to 63 in 2022 and then to 65 by 2030 — the reason being that life expectancy is increasing.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress had proposed to do the same, raise the retirement age from 60 to 65. Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad however said in Phnom Penh on Tuesday (3 Sep), during a 3-day officlal visit, that having Malaysia’s retirement age at 60 is “enough”.

Essentially, Malaysia will not raise its retirement age, reports TODAY Online.

This is because, as he explained, majority of Malaysians who are in their sixties are no longer able to work efficiently. Some are even suffering from debilitating health problems, which will further hinder their ability to work.

And then he goes on to add a cheeky caveat — that the lot of Malaysians above 60 can’t be compared to him,

I think putting 60 as the retirement age is enough. Don’t compare it with me… I have already retired, but was ‘Called’ to return to work.

Basically, he’s implying that he is unlike majority of Malaysians who are no longer able to work efficiently. This is since he is 94 years old and works as the prime minister of the country.

Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister agreed

Standing behind Dr Mahathir’s decision, Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister said that raising the retirement age will make it more difficult for younger Malaysians to get jobs, since older workers will be holding on to their positions.

So on one hand, here in Singapore, we’re encouraging our older workers to continue working and support and busy themselves, while in Malaysia, they are encouraging them to stop working so younger ones can take their place. Interesting.


Purpose of a retirement age

Just in case there is still confusion about the purpose of a retirement age. It isn’t to force people to continue working. You’re free to retire anytime you want. 40 years old and you’ve made enough money, go ahead and retire. The government isn’t going to hold you to your job.

A retirement age is about protection for older workers — that is, so employers cannot indiscriminately tell them to leave. So a higher retirement age is always better for older works. It will simply give them the option of staying and continuing to work.

Do you think Malaysia’s logic about holding the retirement age firm so that younger people can enter the workforce will work out? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image adapted from The Jakarta Post.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author