Cries of Wheelchair Users in Malaysia – Rapid KL, Are You Listening?

Today is the International Day of Disabled Persons. Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT), an informal coalition comprising sixteen NGOs of disabled persons, marked this day by appealing that public transport operators, specifically Rapid KL, make all their buses accessible. Without access to public transport, disabled persons are not able to lead a meaningful life. They are not able to participate in social, political, economical, educational and cultural activities in society. They become marginalised and isolated.

BEAT members gathered at the Rapid KL Jalan Tun Sambanthan Bus Stop at 10.30am today to demonstrate how impossible it was for wheelchair users and the mobility-impaired to board the buses. When getting into the buses take gargantuan effort for those with good upper body strength, it would be virtually an impossible task for those who are paralysed from neck down. How then are people who are severely disabled supposed to travel?

The disabled persons present at the bus stop held up placards with messages that reflect their frustrations. How will this reflect on the government when disabled persons have to resort to such measures to get their voices heard? Something is not right somewhere. Dare I say that people who should be doing their jobs are not? Malaysia can no longer plead ignorance to such issues as we are a signatory to the Biwako Millenium Framework, having given our commitment to creating an inclusive barrier-free and rights-based society for people with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. Are we any closer to fulfilling the targets set by the framework? The campaign this morning tells it all.

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
Under the shadows of Malaysia’s modern landmarks…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
Everyone enjoys the ease of moving about in the city, almost…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
Except wheelchair users and disabled persons…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
They are frustrated…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
Malaysia Boleh?

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
This is what they have to go through…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
This is what they have to do. What about those who cannot?

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
So they express their frustrations and disappointment…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
Through the only way they know how…

International Day of Disabled Persons 2006 - Brickfields
Hello, is anybody listening?

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.

4 thoughts on “Cries of Wheelchair Users in Malaysia – Rapid KL, Are You Listening?”

  1. Great that these issues are being brought out. We have a long, long way to go before becoming a developed nation that’s disabled friendly.

    Peter:
    We definitely have a long way to go judging from the response from the parties concerned.

  2. i can bet with my last dollar, nobody in RapidKL is listening! when they started their new routes i wrote in via the email that they published in the newspaper for comments and feedback. it has been quite a number of months and i did not even get an acknowledgement at all! how typical!

    Peter:
    They are listening. The question is are they going to do something about it.

  3. This is issue has been around for quite some time already, no? And they’re not getting it. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that somebody will soon knock some sense into these people 🙂

    Peter:
    They need more than knocking.

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