RapidKL – Discriminatory Or Just Plain Stupidity?


RapidKL issued a memo dated 23 May 2007 to organisations of disabled persons to inform them of the bus operator’s new policy for the Handicap Concession Travel Card (HCTC). The following is an excerpt of the memo signed by RapidKL Corporate Communications Division Senior Manager Katherine Chew:

In our new policy, all card holders of Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat under the following categories are eligible for RapidKL Handicap Concessionary Travel Card (HCTC).

– Applicable only for those without limbs.

Benefit includes 50% discount only.

While I do not dispute the prerogative of RapidKL to give out these cards or revoke them at their discretion, I am most dissatisfied with the discriminatory policy to exclude other forms of impairment in the physically handicapped category eligible for the HCTC. What is the basis in denying physically disabled persons with limbs the HCTC? It seems like RapidKL apart from being a transport operator is trying to play doctor too.

If RapidKL is really sincere in providing discounted fares to disabled persons, it should give out the benefit to all disabled persons across the board irrespective of impairment. I am truly disappointed that the nine months of RapidKL working with the Barrier-Free Environment And Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) on accessible buses has come to naught.

It was a mistake to think that RapidKL took one step forward in being a sensitive and caring public transport operator when it announced the addition of non-step buses into its fleet to cater to the needs of wheelchair users. With this new policy, it has taken ten steps backwards.

UPDATE – 11:45 pm:
Katherine Chew clarified this issue during a meeting with BEAT just now. The offending clause was supposed to eliminate abuse of the HCTC by persons with temporary mobility impairments. Disabled persons with permanent physical impairments will still be eligible for the HCTC subject to submitting relevant documents and passing an interview conducted by the Corporate Communications Division. RapidKL should phrase such circulars concisely to prevent misunderstandings in the future.

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.

4 thoughts on “RapidKL – Discriminatory Or Just Plain Stupidity?”

  1. This is most absurd. Especially when the authority always tell us that ours is a “caring society”. I cannot walk but I have both legs, so I am not eligible. But persons with other forms of disabilities are eligible. It does not make any sense at all. It also reflects the mentality of RapidKL.

  2. I refer to the update. It still does not make sense. As far as I know, Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat has never issue cards to persons with temporary mobility impairments. Can anyone think of an example where a temporary mobility impaired person was issued a welfare card? I can’t think of any such person.

  3. yes, the original circular causes misunderstanding due to their poor phrasing.

  4. Glad thats resolved.Its strange a big organisation doesn’t seem to have staff competent enough to vocabularize directives in a correct and coherent way.The first directive was rather crass, crude and demeaning to the physically challenged.It puzzles me how PR could approve it.

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