Meeting Regarding Accessibility in Public Transport for Disabled Persons

Thirteen representatives from the Barrier-Free Environment Group (BEAT) attended a meeting chaired by the Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha (Perancangan) Kementerian Pengangkutan Malaysia Datuk Long See Wool together with representatives from related government agencies Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ / Road Transport Department), Lembaga Perlesenan Kenderaan Perdagangan (LPKP / Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board), Jabatan Penerbangan Awam (Department of Civil Aviation), Jabatan Laut Malaysia (Marine Department Malaysia); service providers Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAS) and Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn. Bhd. (RapidKL). This first meeting was held at the Kementerian Pengangkutan Malaysia in Putrajaya.

During the meeting, BEAT stressed on the importance of an accessible public transport system in Malaysia and that transport operators should use the term “universal accessibility” instead of “disabled friendly”. The term “disabled friendly” gives a connotation that such transport are especially for disabled persons only when in reality it also benefits senior citizens, pregnant women and adults with prams, among others.

BEAT called on the ministry in cooperation with the LPKP to draw up guidelines and standards for accessibility of public transport and to ensure that all new buses of all bus operators are accessible. With regards to vehicle modifications for disabled persons, the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan was requested to simplify the application process and reduce the number of trips applicants have to make to Putrajaya. On the issue of licenses being tagged to a specific car, JPJ clarified that it was not an official procedure and that they will look into it.

Briefly, the other issues that were brought up touched on the timeframe to make all public transport accessible including buses, monorails and trains. At the same time, supporting infrastructure such as transport hubs, terminals and connecting pathways should be made accessible too without which the accessible transport would rendered unusable. The many points raised during the meeting were compiled into a document from feedback and suggestions by BEAT members and presented to Datuk Long and all present. All parties agreed to look into the issues raised and where possible resolve them before the next meeting.

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.

One thought on “Meeting Regarding Accessibility in Public Transport for Disabled Persons”

  1. hi peter…

    this may be a little late for a respond but i’ll just say a few words anyway.
    being a quad myself i can see having a totally barrier-free environment is like
    a very wishful thinking. its a tough task with double the everest of mountain to
    climb. but no doubt we will not abandon the cause of atleast an accessible surrouding
    near where we all live respectively.

    as in my case staying in a condo for more than 3 years now, having to pay monthly
    maintainance fee like all other residents here, i hv yet to enjoy the pool-whether
    i can swim or not is way besides the point-, the games room as well as the cafeteria.
    being the only wheelchair user here, i guess this is like a personal battle.

    it took the condo management ages before the first ramp to the garden were built. and
    that was after numerous requests, sheets and sheets of letters seeking approvals from
    the-powers-that-be and in the end we only need a VIP to join in the fray and voila, it
    was completed within a couple of weeks after the Datuk paid us a visit.

    I may be wrong but from what i’ve gathered, we just need those people high up the govenrment rank to just open up their mouth. its a win-win. these VIPs gets the publicity and we get what we rightly deserved.

    but then again, battle on we shall. we may get ‘pressure sores’ by just sitting on our laurels..haha.

    i was supposed to join BEAT during their meeting with RapidKl. forgive me for being
    selfish but my war against those dudes in the management takes priority.

    thanks Peter for taking some of your space.

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