Ibrahim apologises to disabled, but not to Karpal Singh: The Star – May 8, 2008

The Star reported that Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali wants to propose to the government to allocate RM500 monthly to disabled people after he was confronted by members of Malaysians Against the Discrimination of the Disabled (MADD) in the Parliament House over his suggestion that tetraplegic Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh stand up when addressing the Parliament.

RM500? I would like to believe that Ibrahim was delusional to think that the dignity of disabled people could be bought over so easily. Unfortunately, he was not! Everyone has a price but this entry is about Ibrahim and not about so-called advocates selling out the dignity and interests of the people that they were supposed to represent. Yes, disabled people can be bought over but come on lar, RM500 per month only? Some of us may willingly sell our souls for money but we are still not that cheap, ok!

Back to Ibrahim. He apologised to the members of MADD. If he really loves disabled people from the bottom of his heart like he was reported to have said, I would have preferred that he extend a sincere apology to Karpal and gave a commitment to bring up the monumental problems faced by disabled people all over Malaysia in Parliament instead of pulling a cheap stunt with the RM500 proposal. When pressed by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng on whether he would extend the same apology to Karpal, Ibrahim refused and hopped away in a huff

It is time all serving politicians learn about the Social Model of Disability. I am going to repeat this for the umpteenth time. The Social Model of Disability states that people are disabled by attitudinal and environmental barriers rather than disabled by their conditions. What this means is that politicians like Ibrahim have failed in their duty to ensure that the built-environment provides equal access to disabled people. These environmental barriers were created by people who disregard disabled people as equal partners in society, namely people like Ibrahim. We can make do without such shallow wakil rakyats who have time and again proven that politicians do not have to be intelligent and sensitive to social issues to get elected.

Related entry:
Ibrahim Ali: Hello! Where Is Your Brain?

The Star Online
Thursday May 8, 2008 MYT 3:36:29 PM
Ibrahim apologises to disabled, but not to Karpal Singh
By PAUL CHOO

KUALA LUMPUR: Commotion broke out in the Parliament lobby Thursday when Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent – Pasir Mas) stormed out from a meeting with a group of disabled people demanding for his apology to Karpal Singh at the Parliament lobby at noon.

The group – known as Malaysians Against the Discrimination of the Disabled (MADD), urged Ibrahim to retract insulting statements against Karpal Singh recently when he asked the latter to stand when speaking in Dewan Rakyat.

Ibrahim had apologised to the group initially for hurting their feelings over the remarks he made in Dewan to Karpal Singh.

However, he refused to say sorry to Karpal Singh.

“My problem was with Karpal Singh and never with all of you. I have never offended you and I love disabled people from the bottom of my heart.

“But if you all have misinterpreted my meaning, I extend my sincerest apologies.

“I hope you don’t misunderstand this because there are groups trying to take advantage of you,” he said, referring to several Pakatan Rakyat leaders – Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lim Lip Eng, Loh Gwo Burne, Gobind Singh Deo and others who had escorted the group into Parliament.

Ibrahim even added that he would propose that the Government allocate a RM500 monthly allowance to the disabled. This was greeted by cheers.

A huge spat soon ensued however when Lim Lip Eng (DAP – Segambut) questioned Ibrahim if he would offer a similar apology to Karpal Singh.

To this, Ibrahim shouted “No! No! No!”

“I will not apologise to Karpal (Singh). You cannot force me. I will not apologise for the benefit of the Opposition party,” he retorted, and stormed off from the meeting.

In response, the group shouted back at him: “What if you are disabled one day?”

A representative from MADD later handed over a memorandum to Opposition Leader Dr Wan Azizah.

Last week, Ibrahim critised Karpal Singh for not standing up to speak while Bung Mokhtar and Karpal Singh engaged in a heated exchange of insults where Karpal Singh called him “big foot” and he called Karpal Singh “big monkey”.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Minion to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. Columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

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