Badan Latihan dan Hidup Berdikari Malaysia (ILTC) pada 23hb Mac 2016 menyerahkan memorandum kepada ahli-ahli parlimen mendesak supaya golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) dikecualikan daripada cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan (GST).

Disabled Members Protest

Disabled Members Protest
Disabled Members Protest at JPJ Wangsa Maju

ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.

ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.
Disabled group’s protest disabled drivers required to produce doc's medical report.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Meaningful Merdeka

Thursday September 3, 2009

Meaningful Merdeka


MERDEKA means different things to different people. Whilst many of my friends chose to celebrate with dinners and parties, I wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion.

And so, there I was in my wheelchair last Sunday on the eve of our nation’s 52nd birthday, strolling along the pavement in Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya.

It was very late at night and I was alone with my service dog Biman. I enjoyed the personal freedom. I had the freedom to go from one place to another on a 500m stretch of pavement that was recently constructed for wheelchairs and prams.

I was free to get somewhere without my car. I could go to a church, temple, park and a row of shops that were within the boundaries of the pavement.

This was the first Merdeka that I could do this as the disabled-friendly pathway was not in place last year.

As for my service dog, he provided me with the freedom of knowing that I was safe. No one would want to mess around with a large German Shepherd. Biman III is a fully-trained canine and he is a great help in pulling my wheelchair over the steep parts of the slopes.

As Biman and I stopped to soak in the cool of the evening, I couldn’t help feeling proud of the pavement which to my knowledge is the first of its kind in the country.

Called a universal design pavement, it is a pet project by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to create a barrier-free city for everyone. The pathway will ensure an obstruction-free passage for the disabled and the elderly.

To show how serious the MBPJ is in its disabled-friendly plans for the city, the heads of departments from the engineering and planning units joined me at the site last week.

We walked the length of the pathway and checked every nook and corner to ensure that there were no glitches in the design.

The pathway is scheduled to be launched on International Disabled Day in December.

The need to provide such disabled-friendly designs cannot be overemphasised as the population ages. Medical experts say that along with old age, disability is often inevitable.

Local councils across the country need to be forward thinking in their town planning and start including disabled-friendly facilities that have been stipulated in our building-by laws since a decade ago.

It is often the lack of facilities that make the handicapped a “burden” in our society.

I was shocked to receive a complaint by a leader of an NGO representing the disabled when they visited the Welfare Department in Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, last week.

The NGO which works with rural disabled people took two of its members to the office to apply for financial aid.

When they got there, they could not find any reserved parking for the disabled and had to park about 200m from the building.

The disabled-friendly toilet did not have a door; it only had a torn plastic curtain to serve as a screen. There were no grab bars or wash basin and soap.

When they complained to the person in charge, their concerns was not taken seriously. The excuse given was that the building does not belong to the Welfare Department.

Such attitudes only serve to dampen the Merdeka spirit.

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