Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Parlimentary Secretary, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development,
Encik Mohd Ali Mohd Nor, Chief Operating Officer, RapidKL
Representatives and friends of BEAT,
Fellow disabled members,volunteers and supporters,
A very good morning and salam sejahtera to all of you !
First of all, on behalf of Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT), I wish to convey our appreciation to RapidKL for inviting BEAT to attend and share this joyous occasion. I wish to also thank BEAT for selecting me to speak on their behalf.
For those who may still not be aware, BEAT is a coalition of 17 NGOs representing the interests of various disability groups and comprising thousands of members all over Klang Valley and Malaysia.
This morning we are gathered here to mark a very significant occasion. For the first time in the history of disabled person’s movement in the country, we are witnessing a bus company making efforts to incorporate “user friendly facilities” to cater to the diverse needs of the traveling public. SYABAS RAPIDKL !!! You have done the country proud by being the first company to provide accessible public buses on Malaysian roads!!
Accessible buses benefit not only disabled persons but EVERYONE including senior citizens, pregnant women, children in prams, people with mobility difficulties and their family members.
Freedom to move about is a basic and fundamental right of every person irrespective of the condition one is in. For too many years this freedom has been denied us! It is high time that this basic right is given back to us unconditionally! It is also high time that disabled persons be treated as part of the public who are entitled to have equal access to the same facilities provided for the public.
Disabled persons are ordinary human beings who have the same needs as everyone else. Like everyone else, we need public transport to take us to work places, to shopping malls, to banks, to post offices, to recreational parks and so on.
We are happy that the series of campaigns organized by BEAT have received due attention not only from RapidKL but also from several Ministers and politicians (including our YB Chew Mei Fun) as well as the local authorities.
BEAT wish to record our special thanks to the Ministers and Deputy Ministers, namely YB Dato’ Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Dato Dr Ng Yen Yen, Deputy Minister of Finance I, Dato’ Chan Kong Choy, Minister of Transport, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, YB Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Parliament Secretary, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, who have all spoken up in support of our cause.
In the course of working with RapidKL, BEAT also takes note of two persons who deserve our special acknowledgement. They have demonstrated their dedication and commitment in their work beyond the calls of duty. One of them is Encik Mohd Ali. Another person who truly, truly deserve our big applause is none other than Ms Katherine Chew! She has worked very very hard and has also made time to attend our seminars to better understand our issues.
Last but not least, special thanks to all members of BEAT, caring volunteers and supporters, for all the hard work, cooperation and support extended during the working together.
We have done so much but so much more needs to be done! We need to continue the good work with RapidKL and the local authorities. We need to ask for more accessible buses from time to time to meet the increasing demand. We also need to join forces with our comrades in Penang to ask for accessible buses in Penang. We need to work towards the ultimate goals of a barrier-free environment and accessible transport for ALL !