The 2007 Budget was disappointing where disabled persons are concerned, to say the least. Perhaps I missed out something somewhere but the only tangible “benefit” was the increase to RM50 the allowance for parents and carers of children with disabilities undergoing community-based rehabilitation.
When a child is so severely disabled that he is unable to manage his own life, one parent, usually the mother, has to stop working to look after him. What can the family possibly use the RM50 per month allowance for? More relevantly, what can the general population do with RM50 nowadays?
The Prime Minister certainly can do better than handing out this measly token. There must be a concerted effort from top down to address the issues plaguing severely disabled persons, irrespective of whether they are children or adults.
The ridiculous amount of public money that was squandered away in failed ventures or paid out as compensation to contractors of poorly thought out projects that were later abandoned could have been put to better use. Improving the quality of life for thousands of disabled persons is one of them.
Admittedly, handing out money will not solve the challenges faced by disabled persons. There are problems in many other areas that need a firm commitment from the government to resolve, namely education, barrier-free amenities and supporting services to facilitate independent living for those with severe disabilities. The government can do more in those areas. Unfortunately, Budget 2007 does not reflect that.