Protecting Elderly Against Abuse and Neglect: A Legal Strategy (GC001E-14HTM) is one of the sub-researches under the Prevent Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative (PEACE) research grant. Research on elderly issues such as abuse and neglect has been carried out from 2015 until now. This research grant is funded by the University of Malaya (UM) Grand Challenge in support of the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia.
The team of researchers consist of academicians and legal experts at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya (UM) Malaysia, namely Dr. Zulazhar Tahir (Principal Investigator), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jal Zabdi Mohd Yusoff, Dr. Sridevi Thambapillay, Dr. Siti Zaharah Jamaluddin (Multimedia University, Malaysia) and Dr. Mohammad Abu Taher (East West University, Bangladesh). Dr. Siti Zaharah is a member of the Senior Citizens Consultative Council, appointed by the Ministry of Women and Family Development (KPWKM), Malaysia.
This research grant has organized a series of conferences on abuse and neglect of the elderly at the regional level, namely the ASEAN Regional Conference on Elder Abuse and Neglect (ARCEN) 2017 and the National Seminar Protecting Elderly against Abuse and Neglect: Legal and Social Strategies 2015. A collection of articles based on papers presented at the conferences have been published as a book by the University of Malaya Press in 2017 entitled Protecting the Elderly Against Abuse and Neglect: Legal and Social Strategies and in 2019, book entitled Elder Abuse and Neglect in Selected Asian Countries respectively. There are six related chapters that have been published through these books. In addition, the researchers also have published six academic journals and have presented in nine national and international level paper proceedings. In addition to the above, there is one student at the Doctoral level and four Masters students under the supervision of this research grant.
In a nutshell, as Malaysia is expected to become an “ageing nation” by the year 2030, the researchers hope that there is an urgency to draft a specific elderly related legal framework to prepare the community to address challenges and changes brought by an ageing nation and society, including preventing elder abuse and neglect. This is because the elderly too, as other citizens, should have the right not only to be protected but to be empowered through the recognition of their rights.