To commemorate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day(WTISD) 2022 and its theme Digital Technologies for Older Persons and Healthy Ageing, Communication and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia(CFM) Chairman urges the need to minimise the generational gap and to be more inclusive of older persons in order to gain benefits in using technology.

En. Muhammad Radzillah Abdullah
The Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union(ITU), Houlin Zhao, had mentioned in his WTISD address that older persons have greatly contributed to the social and economic achievements of our time and now require our help to ensure that they can continue to be contributing members of society.

In this regard, the government has already paved the way towards digital literacy through the implementation of digitisation under the Digital Economy Action Plan and the 12th Malaysia Plan which ultimately will include 5G. All parties are the catalyst in being digital enablers.

In echoing this sentiment, CFM Chairman, En. Muhammad Radzillah Abdullah said, “Whilst the government have been playing the part and telcos are continuously creating packages for older persons, digital technologists should also consider this generation in advancing and developing new technologies. The older generation are not digital natives so they need assistance and guidance to be able to leverage on technology. There is no use to have technological advancements such as telemedicine or AI if they cannot use it. This will put healthy ageing and wellness at stake.”

En.Radzillah also added that developers of digital technology should be mindful not just of the digital divide but also generational issues so that they do not inadvertently create technology that is ageist. “Making assumptions on how older persons use technology in their daily lives may actually have the unintended effect of widening this divide or creating further barriers to digital access. CFM therefore calls upon every party to include the aged in their considerations for technological advancements to eliminate ageism and greatly improve the lives of older persons to allow them to age healthily.”