Malaysia is experiencing a rising trend in population growth, with projections indicating that it will transition into an aging nation by 2030. Data reveals a noticeable surge in the elderly population, aged 60 and above, accompanied by a decline in the percentage of individuals aged 14 and below over the years. [1]

Meanwhile, Penang stands out with a significant elderly population compared to other states. The state government takes aging demographics issue seriously that Penang City Council (MBPP) was to spearhead the Age Friendly City (AFC) initiative introduced by The World Health Organization (WHO) to promote the well-being of senior citizens, increase their social and economic participation to create a more sustainable and liveable community. [2]

In addition, Penang City Council has been recognised for securing the prestigious ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award for the fourth consecutive year, spanning from 2024 to 2026. This remarkable achievement underscores the Council’s unwavering dedication to transform Penang into a smart, green, and comfortable state in line with the Penang State Government’s vision of & ‘Penang2030: A Smart, Green State Driven by a Robust Economy. [3] This commitment extends beyond environmental sustainability, as evidenced by MBPP’s proactive focus on implementing the age-friendly initiative introduced by WHO.

There are eight key domains such as Public Spaces and Buildings, Mutual Respect and Social Inclusion, Transportation Systems, Social Participation, Employment Opportunities and Civic Engagement, Communication and Information, as well as Housing Systems among others.

In the context of Housing Systems, Penang aims to enhance accessibility and awareness of affordable, safe mobility options for older adults. With a target of 220,000 affordable homes by 2030, the state plans to introduce a new housing category at RM100,000 per unit for households earning between RM3,500 and RM5,000 monthly. Meanwhile, the state’s first integrated resort-style living for senior citizens located in the Balik Pulau area, is scheduled to be fully completed by 2026, providing a delightful environment for them to enjoy their golden years.

The 32-acre project, known as Eden at Botanica CT (EABC), will feature a nursing care residence and a low-density active living resort comprising villas and condominiums in two tower blocks in Botanica.CT, a thriving township in Balik Pulau on Penang island. [4] The EABC groundbreaking ceremony was held at Botanica CT in Balik Pulau on November 20, 2023 graced by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak who graced the occasion. [5]

In conclusion, the Penang City Council is not only dedicated to advancing environmental excellence but is also committed to prioritising the well-being, social integration, and active participation of its expanding elderly population.


[1] Nik Norliati, F.M.N & Suriati, G. (2019). Malaysia towards an ageing country. Geografia OnlineTM Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 17 issue 3 (234-245)

[2] ________. (2023). Penang island working towards becoming age-friendly city. The Star, 18 May.

[3] NST Regional. (2024). Penang City Council wins fourth consecutive ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award. News Strait Times, January 29.

[4] Property news. (2023). Penang’s first integrated senior living resort scheduled for 2026. Property Talk, November 21. 2026/#:~:text=The%2032%2Dacre%20project%2C%20known,Balik%20Pulau%20on%20Penang%20island.

[5] Riadz, A. (2024) Resort-style living for seniors. Bulletin Mutiara, Jan 16-31.