Better facilities in store for disabled
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York next month, paving the way for better facilities for the disabled.
Articles in the convention, for instance, include the right for disabled persons to use suitable voting equipment in elections and the right to disabled-friendly public transport.
"After ratification, annual reports must be submitted to the UN, so there is an obligation for us to show how serious we are in fulfilling the terms of the convention," said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
Her ministry's priority areas for the year will be accessibility and employment for the disabled. Beginning with Malacca, Pahang, Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur, the ministry will be working closely with local councils and state government agencies.
Shahrizat called on Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) to set state local authorities a good example by making the capital barrier-free.
"Existing guidelines under the Uniform Buildings bylaws are already disabled-friendly, but the enforcement of the standards is poor.
"I'd like to ask DBKL not to approve building plans which don't comply with such guidelines so that it would be a start towards complying with the convention," she told reporters at the National Conference on Accessibility and Universal Design.