NEW MINISTER FOR WELFARE MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
Disabled Members Protest
ILTC Malaysia members staged a protest outside JPJ Wangsamaju KL.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Disabled group’s protest leads to member finally getting a PPR unit
By VIJENTHI NAIR
INDEPENDENT Living and Training Centre (ILTC) members staged a protest outside Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut yesterday morning in support of their fellow member whose application for a Public Housing Project (PPR) unit has been left pending, forcing him to sleep in his car.
Karuppanan Veeramalai, 60, a disabled, is leading a miserable life and has been sleeping in his car for the past two-and-a-half years.
“My wife and I work as toilet cleaners at the Subang KTM station and we have 20-year-old son who is still studying. Living expenses are too high and we cannot afford to rent a house and were forced to squat at my wife’s sister’s place in PPR Intan Baiduri.
“The house is already full of people. Being a disabled, I take up a lot of space and so chose to sleep in the car to avoid misunderstandings within the family.
“I have approached DBKL since 2010, appealing for a PPR unit for rent but was told to wait as there were no units available.
“I have also approached Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk M. Saravanan for help and he has given a support letter for my application and his personal assistant assured me several times that I would get a unit soon,” he said.
Karuppanan said he was frustrated with the situation.
“It is frustrating to see many empty units at the PPR Intan Baiduri used by drug addicts who damage the property but my family and I have no place of our own,” he added.
His wife, Pushpavalli Archunan, 49, said they were poor but not asking for a free unit.
“We can still work and just want a unit for rent like everybody else. It is sad to see my husband sleeping in the car every night,” she said.
Petaling Jaya city councillor Anthony Thanasayan was also present in support of Karuppanan.
“There is no excuse for DBKL to treat Karuppanan in such a manner. How can they allow a person to live in such a bad condition.
“It is shocking to find that DBKL, which has put in a lot of effort into building disabled-friendly infrastructure, being insensitive towards their welfare.
“This is simply intolerable. We are here to demand that DBKL provides him with a unit.
ILTC president Francis Siva said it was disappointing to see foreigners living in Malaysia happily while its own citizens were leading a miserable life.
“We are going to wait outside here until the DBKL officers come up with a solution to provide proper housing for Karuppanan,” he said.
Later in the afternoon, Francis said DBKL housing and community development director Sukiman Surahman had called them over for a discussion and handed over an offer letter for a PPR Intan Baiduri unit to Karuppanan.
“Sukiman said Karuppanan and his family will be able to move in within 48 hours and has asked his officers to ensure the unit is ready and safe for occupancy.
“We are happy with the outcome but the process should not be so complicated. The Welfare Depart-ment should play a better role in helping the disabled,” he said.