Dear Jusco

After the parking incident on Sunday, I sent a love note to Juso via email. They replied a while ago to apologise for the incident and asked for my contact number. I provided my phone number and am waiting for the next response from them.

Dear Sirs/Madams,

My wife and I are regular shoppers at your stores in Taman Maluri Shopping
Centre, Mid Valley Megamall, 1 Utama Shopping Centre and sometimes at
Kinta City Shopping Centre. I am a wheelchair user and I appreciate the
fact that Jusco has taken the effort to include accessible toilets for the
convenience of shoppers like me.

However, the accessible toilets at Taman Maluri and Kinta City are too
small for comfort to accomodate a wheelchair user and a personal
assistant. You should look into the dimension prescribed in the Uniform
Building By-Law 34A in Malaysian Standard MS 1184: Code of Practice on
Access for Disabled People to Public Buildings to build proper and
functional toilets that disabled people can use.

The Taman Maluri store has two parking spaces for disabled people outside
the supermarket but it is mostly occupied by cars with non-disabled
drivers or passengers. This lack of enforcement by your security personnel
has rendered this parking space useless for disabled people who want to
shop at Jusco. What is the point of allocating such spaces when everyone
ignores its purpose and parks there leaving disabled drivers like me with
no place to park and get out from our cars conveniently?

Please see below my account about an incident that happened on Sunday at
your Taman Maluri store car park:
5702-and-wny- 8347/

There was one time when my wife moved the wheelchair signboards at the
Taman Maluri store for me to park there only to be scolded by a very rude
security personnel who did not verify if the car had a disabled driver or
passenger. When we indicated to him that I am a disabled person, he just
walked away without assisting my wife in moving the signboard. This
incident has reflected very badly on the professionalism of your security

Moreover, the size of the accessible parking space in the multistorey car
park at Taman Maluri and outside Kinta City are of the wong size. Ideally,
accessible parking for disabled people should be 3.6m in width to allow a
wheelchair to be placed beside the car. The parking spaces at both places
are of regular size. If another car were to park too closely to our cars,
we will have problems opening the car door wide enough for us to get in.

If Jusco is serious in providing the parking space for disabled people, I
suggest that the cones and wheelchair signboards be removed as this is
causing disabled drivers problems when parking. You should instead assign
a security personnel near the parking space to ensure that only cars with
disabled driver or passengers park there.

I would also like to note that the Jusco stores that I frequent have
Priority Cashier Lane for disabled people, pregnant women and senior
citizens.Since its implementation until now, I have had to queue together
with other shoppers to pay. I am not complaining that I have to queue. I
am just disappointed that the signboard is there for show only as your
cashiers never bothered to give priority to the three categories of
people. In that case, I suggest that you remove that signboard since it
serves no purpose at all and make us queue like everyone else.

I hope Jusco will seriously look into these problems and take the
necessary actions to rectify the problems. I am sure Jusco would like to
ensure the comfort of all shoppers including wheelchair users, senior
citizens and pregnant women who are your loyal customers.

I look forward to a positive response from you.

Thank you.

Peter Tan

Circle Of Mobility For Disabled People

2nd Malaysian Conference on Rehabilitation
Panel Discussion 2 – Barrier-Free Built-Environment and Universal Design
(L-R) Puan Khairiah Talha, Mr Patrick Ang, Cik Khairul Nisa bt. Haron, Cik Naziaty Yaacob (Chairperson), Peter Tan, Puan Ch’ng Gaik Bee @ Dalilah Bee Abdullah and Puan Tan Choo Lan.
Photo by Wuan.

My first presentation at the panel session for special interest groups of the 2nd Malaysian Conference on Rehabilitation at Pusat Latihan Perindustrian and Pemulihan Bangi (PLPP) was titled “Inclusive Environment in Malaysia: From the Perspective of a Wheelchair User.” The main point of the entire presentation is the “Circle of Mobility for Disabled People.”

Circle of Mobility for Disabled People
Circle of Mobility for Disabled People

The concept is very simple. The circle represents the journey from the point of origin to the destination and then from the final destination back to home. The journey includes the built environment which is represented by the line and public transport. The entire journey must be seamless. Any break in between may cause the disabled person to be stranded and unable to complete the journey.

Peter Tan speaking at the 2nd Malaysian Conference on Rehabilitation
Peter Tan speaking at the 2nd Malaysian Conference on Rehabilitation.
Photo by Wuan.

In Malaysia, the circle is broken in many places. The moment a disabled person gets out from the house, he will be faced with barriers in the built environment. These includes walkways without ramps, walkways littered with street furniture and other obstructions. Public transport is totally inaccessible. That is the reason why many wheelchair users are stuck at home and unable to go out.

The solutions are very simple actually. The government, be they federal, state or local, have the resources and means to resolve this issue. They must also take the blame for allowing this problem to fester until now. The four points for the solution that I presented were:

  1. Adopt Universal Design in all future infrastructural developments
  2. Enforce UBBL 34A and incorporate MS1331 into relevant legislation
  3. Audit Access officers in local governments to implement and enforce UBBL 34A
  4. Establish a time-frame to make Malaysia accessible to all

This is the abstract for my presentation:

Inclusive Environment In Malaysia:
From The Perspective Of A Wheelchair User

Two important factors determine whether a disabled person becomes home-bound or live a full life outside. One is public transport, the other the built environment. One cannot exist without the other. Neither exists in Malaysia. Some may argue that parts of the built environment have become accessible in recent years. This is true to a certain extent. However, the lack of interconnectivity makes these pockets of accessible heaven another unreachable speck in the horizon for many still. There is an urgent need to impress upon the people responsible for infrastructure that an accessible environment not only provides mobility. It empowers disabled people to become independent and improves their productivity overall. Furthermore, an inclusive environment benefits everyone. What is good for disabled people is good for everyone else. This is a win-win situation for all. This paper presents my experience as a wheelchair user with examples gleaned from the Independent Living movement in Japan.

Below were the topics that my fellow panelists presented:

The Construction Industry’s Role in Facilitating for Social Inclusion
Puan Tan Choo Lan
Bahagian Kawalan Bangunan, Jabatan Kerajaan Tempatan,
Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Malaysia

Barrier-Free City Kuala Lumpur
Puan Ch’ng Gaik Bee @ Dalilah Bee Abdullah
Architect, Architect’s Department,
Kuala Lumpur City Hall

Barrier Free City Petaling Jaya
Cik Khairul Nisa bt. Haron
Assistant Director/Planner, Development Planning Department,
Petaling Jaya City Council, Selangor

Collaborating with the Local Authority in Achieving Barrier-free City, Singapore
Mr. Patrick Ang
Level Field Consultants

Do We Need Legislative Changes Before We Care?
Puan Khairiah Talha
Secretary General, Eastern Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH)