Wheelchair remark: Retract that statement: Letters To The Editor – NST – October 25, 2007:

NST Online – Letters
Wheelchair remark: Retract that statement
By : PETER TAN for Independent Living Programme for People with Disabilities Kuala Lumpur

AS a wheelchair user for the last 23 years, I am absolutely upset with Jerai member of parliament Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin for telling fellow-MP Karpal Singh that the latter’s use of a wheelchair is a punishment from God (“Kar-pal: Lawyer wrote part of judgment for civil suit” — NST, Oct 23).
Badruddin’s remark is an affront to all wheelchair users, implying that our condition is a punishment and that we are all sinners.

I have been using a wheelchair long enough to have experienced many times such drivel from holier-than-thou people. People must be educated that being disabled is one of the things that can happen to anybody. People can become disabled. People can become afflicted with diseases. It is part of life.

Perhaps Badruddin seldom meets wheelchair users. As an MP, he should turun padang and meet his electorate to realise that they include disabled people, some of whom are wheelchair users.

He should be working towards empowering disabled people instead of insulting us. After all, he was elected to serve the people and not otherwise.
I call on Badruddin to retract that statement and apologise to all wheelchair users and the disabled community for such an insensitive remark. It does not matter if he was targeting Karpal.

His utterance smacked of insensitivity and ignorance and has insulted the dignity of all wheelchair users.

Uncalled for

THE Society of the Orthopaedically Disabled Malaysia is disappointed with the statement made by Badruddin that the disabled in wheelchairs have been punished by God. The statement was uncalled for.

By ASSOC PROF DR TIUN LING TAfor Society of the Orthopaedically Disabled

THE Malaysian Spinal Injuries Association is outraged at the offensive remark made by Badruddin during the parliamentary session on Oct 22. Referring to MP Karpal Singh, he said: “You are no better calling us (BN MPs) animals. You insult people. Now you are in a wheelchair. God has punished you.”

Disability is not a punishment from God. Badruddin reveals his insensitivity and ignorance in making such a statement. The lack of dignity and decorum shown by several MPs during parliamentary debates recently is appalling.

Instead of abusive personal attacks on fellow MPs, they should focus on fulfilling their responsibilities to their electorate.

By BATHMAVATHI KRISHNAN for Malaysian Spinal Injuries Association

Related entry: Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin: Using A Wheelchair Is God’s Punishment
Screenshots – Wheelchair… ‘God has punished you’
Mental Jog – bad, bad, rude, boy!!
Lim Kit Siang – Insensitive, ignorant, deplorable and abhorrenst attack on the Disabled (OKU)

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.