RapidPenang is going to add another 50 buses to its current fleet by the end of the year. The million ringgit question is: Are these buses of the non-step type that wheelchair users can use? If not, where are the promised buses to cater to the needs of disabled people? There was no mention of whether disabled people can use these buses or if they are accessible. My guess is that they are not.
Many of my disabled friends in Penang are unable to go anywhere because there is no accessible public transport in the island. They have to give up schooling because they cannot go to school. Without an education, they are unable to find gainful employment. Many of them practically have no social life because they are stuck at home most of the time.
Disabled people are the most disadvantaged and marginalised in any society, Malaysia included. Many are living in poverty. Their plight are mostly ignored and forgotten. It is regrettable the previous government in Penang did little to change the situation, preferring to give all sorts of excuses to exclude the needs of disabled people from using public transport. I truly hope the new Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng will seriously resolve this matter for once and for all.
Tags: Lim Guan Eng
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