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Wednesday May 6, 2009
‘Do more for the disabled’
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should not be exempted from the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008.
“The Federal Government is exempted from any wrongdoing, and this casts serious doubt on its commitment to the rights of the disabled,’’ Ragunath Kesavan, president of the Malaysian Bar, noted.
The Act, which came into force on July 7 last year, also lacked penalties for any party failing to comply with its obligations.
Ragunath said that although the Government had signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities last year, it had yet to ratify it.
“We strongly urge the Government to immediately ratify the convention and take measures to implement its obligations,’’ he said in a press statement yesterday.
Ragunath said disabled people faced unacceptable barriers in their daily lives due to the lack of proper infrastructure for them.
The shortcomings clearly showed up when Karpal Singh fell from his wheelchair at the Kuantan High Court recently, he said.
Ragunath said existing laws to protect the rights of the disabled and to improve their quality of life were still lacking enforcement.
The Malaysian Bar urged the Government to ensure facilities for the disabled and to improve and enforce the existing laws pertaining to their rights.