Letter From Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat

Two days ago, I received this letter from the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Malaysia. It was in reply to my letter to Dato’ Seri Shahrizat, Minister of Family, Women and Community Development, dated May 9, 2005 regarding the systematic evacuation plan for people with disabilities and the mobility impaired from high-rise buildings. All I can say is that I am disappointed with the reply. I shall reserve further comments until I have officially responded to it.

The letter from Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Malaysia:
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Related entry:
Dear Dato’ Seri Shahrizat

Related category:
Building Manager From Hell

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

14 thoughts on “Letter From Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat”

  1. what? no time to read and reply your letter? for like what? 3 months plus? plus it’s not even signed by her? and the responsibilities has been passed to another dept.?

    letsee…you can do a few things:

    1. voice your complain in the media (the daily tabloids and malaysiakini)
    2. call the departments
    3. write to the journalists at NTV7

    but i’m thinking (predicting) that bloggers are going to promote your story far and wide…

  2. Every countries seems to face the same problem regarding government departments … why ehhhh!! No wonder so many ppls apply for government job coz easy and can be lazy. End of the month pocket full full. Don’t give up keep calling them that’s the way u can get ur respond if not hahaha … contact CNN .. sure the whole world will know about it.

  3. what the…? Looks like a list of mambo jambo to me just so that they can push the issue to elsewhere.

    Maybe you need some help in terms of “volume”, Peter. Shall I start drafting something?

  4. thquah,
    It is that obvious huh?

    Dee,
    What more can I say?

    NSDS3HvLDjJd,
    The residents do want to to be involved unless it is something they really need.

    dave,
    Apa boleh buat?

    Norzu,
    I just have to fight on.

    cilipadi,
    That is what I will do. Thanks.

    Lainie,
    That was a big bush that the letter writer was beating around.

    Ken,
    Go ahead. Thank you.

  5. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for sharing with us the letter.
    This letter gives us the following facts:
    1. MFWCD can only do so much. Write letters to other ministries and state ministers, as they do not have in their power to do more than that. Hence, the suggestion to push for the Disabled Persons Act even more to be passed in Parliament and the demand to have a Commission set-up to enforce the Act. The Welfare Department exists to only facilitate issues concerning disabled people.
    2. The letter indicate that MFWCD interestingly enough does know of the three by-laws and the knowledge required to understand accessibility in the country. They even had the minister undergone a simulation awareness exercise. This means, we can lobby further for accessibility.
    3. The Director General is the administrative mouth-piece of any ministry and it is common that they write on the behalf of the minister. This means that your matter is purely administrative and not personal. What I am trying to say is that, the minister is telling you that she cannot do more than what she had told you, and that administration means that the jurisdiction of this matter lies with others.

    The important lesson here is, we cannot wait any longer. We have to get the Act or a discrimination bill push through Parliament. There’s no other way, but to get a STATUTORY BODY WITH TEETH to fight for disability issues.

  6. LecturerUM,
    Thank you for those enlightening points. As you must have noticed, I have copied that letter to the Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan but have not received a reply from them. As far as I can see, the Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat is under this ministry and rightfully they should have done something.

    These three by-laws as you have told me has been in existence for a while now. Sadly, enforcement is lacking. Before I left Penang recently, one of the places that I go to on a monthly basis for banking built a flight of stairs over the ramp that I used to access into the building. That I will deal with later when I get back to Penang. This is my example of lack of enforcement.

    As for the Disabled Persons Act, I wonder what the organisations for the disabled are doing to get it pushed through Parliament faster.

    All said, I appreciate you taking the time to share with me all these. We need more knowledgeable people like you to get things moving. As it is, I see very few disabled persons fighthing for what they truly deserve.

  7. Hi Peter,
    I was writing too quickly in the previous message. What I meant was that MWFCD’s limitations, ie they could only do as much, writing to these other ministries and state governments.
    I have yet to hear of any discussions between Jabatan Bomba and Penyelamat and disabled people rep.
    Many issues are monitored by several departments, so it gets tricky. But at the end of the day, local government (authorities) should be able to fine wrong-doers.
    BTW, the three documents mentioned by MWFCD are not by-laws but Malaysian Standards (MS). As for KPKT, they are the ones involved with the By-Law and the local authorities are under them as well.The Building By-Law 34A is under the Streets, Building and Drainage Act, and it does refer to MS 1184 but not the other two MS. Hence the other two has less teeth.
    There was suppose to be a National Committee to review these things, but I don’t know what happened. Maybe there are others who do know.
    About the Disabled Persons Act, we need to find out from the Minister of MWFCD about it. When it will be tabled under Parliament etc. It is a long process.
    Keep up your good work and all the best.

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