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.

Monday, 15 February 2021

Lockdowns spell trouble for the disabled

Lockdowns spell trouble for the disabled

Ainaa Aiman
February 9, 2021 8:15 AM

Most disabled people do not know how to ask for help, or which agency to contact.

PETALING JAYA: The pandemic has been hard on many people, but none so hard as the disabled community.

Not only are many of them jobless, they have also been unable to get adequate food and financial assistance.

An activist for the disabled community has expressed disappointment that despite government policies being passed to help the disabled during the pandemic, many have not got the aid promised in the various economic stimulus packages.

G Francis Siva, president of the Independent Living and Training Centre (ILTC) Malaysia, said most of disabled people are also the poorest.

“Some told me that when they called the Welfare Department (JKM) hotline, the people there would promise them assistance but would keep delaying it.

“Every time they called, they got promises of help. They keep on telling them ‘later we will give’. But they never do.

“I personally called this number, and they said they would come back to me but they never did.

“Under the economic stimulus packages, they were promised assistance worth RM100, but they never received a single sen. That’s very sad,” he said.

Francis, who is himself disabled, said he did get some assistance eventually, but it was just too little.

As a result, he said, many disabled people who were already underemployed or unemployed risked getting evicted when they could not pay rent.

Some would go as far as borrowing money from loan sharks just to survive, he said.

“I notice a lot of people are really stuck and don’t know what to do. I can only help in the Hulu Selangor and Gombak area.

“JKM needs to come and visit recipients at their homes. They must do that, but they don’t. They should come to check and see what kind of situation these people are in.

“There are instructions given to help us. But this help doesn’t reach us at the grassroots. They have all the logistics to come check on us. They can do it.”

Francis said that most disabled people did not know how to ask for help, or which agency to contact. Most could not speak up for themselves because of their lack of education.

“The support system for them is not in place. On top of that, nobody can go out. So they just sit at home, completely on their own sometimes,” he said.

The disabled, Francis said, were facing a double challenge because their mental health was under threat too. Many were already prone to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, but now suffer increasingly severe symptoms.

He said many people were also forced to pay for their own healthcare and medication despite having close to no income.

With no certainty as to when movement restrictions would end, many were beginning to feel hopeless.

“We try to help them. We managed to raise some donations to be able to cover food for them for one or two months. We send packs of food to their doorsteps. But we can only help those in this area,” he said.

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