Wheeling Around The Corridors of Power

Parliament Building Malaysia and Tunku Abdul Rahman's statue
The Parliament Building. In the foreground is the statue of Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Photo by Wuan.

Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Deputy Finance Minister and Chairman of MCA Wanita invited the Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) for a meeting with her at the Parliament Building yesterday. The delegation headed by Christine Lee and V. Murugeswaran included Sia Siew Chin, Wong Nam Sang, Danny Tan, Fairuz, Bathmavathi Krishnan, M. Manoharan and I.

BEAT members outside the Parliament Building
BEAT members outside the Parliament Building.

The hour-long meeting was a fruitful one as we exchanged ideas with BEAT stating our stand on accessible public transport and Dr. Ng advising us on how we should pursue the matter. At the same time, we were also able to briefly meet Deputy Transport Minister Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar who agreed to meet us again to look into our grievances.

Steep ramp into the Parliament Building
The steep ramp into the lift lobby next to the Main Building of the Parliament.
Photo by Wuan.

After the meeting concluded, Senator Lee Sing Chooi invited us into the Dewan Negara to witness the proceedings. It was an honour and privilege to be in the Senate and amongst the esteemed Senators present. The most recognisable face in the room was acclaimed actor and film director Datuk Jins Samsudin who is a member of the Senate.

Road leading to the exit of the Parliament compound
The security checkpoint. View from inside the Parliament Building compound.
Photo by Wuan.

When the Senate adjourned for lunch break, YB Chew Mei Fun, Parliamentary Secretary to the Women’s, Family and Community Development Ministry invited us for lunch at the Parliament House cafeteria. It was a pity that we were not allowed to take our cameras into the building. It would have been an even more memorable event if we could record the event in images.

Deer Park next to the Parliament Building compound
The Deer Park next to the Parliament Building compound.
Photo by Wuan.

It is also ironic the Parliament that passed the Uniform Building By-Law 34A (UBBL 34A) did not see it fit to lead by example by making access into the building suitable for wheelchair users. The ramp into the lift lobby was way too steep and definitely did not follow the Malaysian standards stipulated for such facilities.

Related entry:
The Star – December 21, 2006: Disabled get mobility pledge

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

6 thoughts on “Wheeling Around The Corridors of Power”

  1. Congratulations, Peter. You and your fellow-activists have come a long way. You deserve every success!

    Thank you. Finally, the right doors are opening up for us. But success is still a long way off.

  2. Not only the ramp is too steep, the height of the handrails is also wrong. Why can’t they do a better job.

    This is a clear reflection of how far the UBBL34A has been enforced.

  3. Peter, remember the Chinese saying, “A journey of a thousand miles also begins with one step”?

    The many more steps that we have to take is quite intimidating. 🙂

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