When the DAP took over Penang with its allies in the Pakatan Rakyat, I had great hope that things would change for the better for disabled people in my home state where accessibility is concerned. After nine months of governing the state, it is evident that my optimism was misplaced. The picture above taken on November 24, 2008 speaks volume of my despair.
I use very simple yardsticks to determine accessibility of a particular place. First is the inclusion of usable ramps. Second is the functionality of accessible toilets. Third is the provision of accessible parking spaces. These are the basic facilities that will determine whether disabled people can perform independently outside their homes or otherwise.
The two parking spaces for disabled people were put up in 2005 when a stretch of Upper Penang Road was renovated. The many times that I drove pass the Catholic Information Centre in recent months, the two parking spaces were usually occupied by four cars – assumably neither driven by disabled people nor carrying disabled passengers as evident by the close proximity of the cars.
When a simple thing like enforcement on existing facilities is not even carried out, dare I hope that the requirements in the Uniform Building By-Law 34A (UBBL 34A) be imposed on all existing and new public buildings? The government of Penang under Pakatan Rakyat is as disappointing as when the state was under Barisan Nasional when it comes to resolving disability issues. Apa macam Lim Guan Eng?
Tags: abuse of accessible parking, Barisan Nasional, Catholic Information Centre, DAP, Democratic Action Party Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng, Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang, MPPP, Pakatan Rakyat, UBBL 34A, Uniform Building By-Law 34A, Upper Penang Road
Sixty more minutes to midnight and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has yet to show hand. No defection from the Barisan Nasional camp is forthcoming. Looks like his plan to unseat Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and topple the Barisan Nasional government has fizzled out. Likewise, his promise of forming the next government with him becoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia on September 16 will not be realized. This failure to fulfill what he has been harping since March 8 will definitely dent his credibility. Whatever he is planning next, I hope it will not create even more uncertainty. I am truly fed up with all these politicking and bickering. It is not doing the nation any good, especially in times of economic turmoil.