Penduduk Bantah Binaan Bonggol – Berita Harian – 19 October, 2012

Berita Harian reporter Siti Haliza Yusop wrote this article regarding my complaint about the road hump that was built right beside the driveway outside the house. To date, the issue is still not resolved.

The rights of three property owners and residents whose houses are facing the hump and my right to an accessible environment under the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 are disregarded by MPAJ and the ahli majlis for Zone 20.

The reason for building the hump was that a “majority” 10 residents requested for it in July. I have a neighbour who can confirm that he was asked to sign a petition to support the road hump on 24 September 2012, 12 days after it was built.

The ahli majlis tried to “persuade” me to accept it as she believed that people of my situation (as a wheelchair user) would welcome it as it is for my safety and that of other residents, never mind that the hump is a barrier to my mobility and a hazard to my safety.

Throwing the majority card at me is really irresponsible. So, the rights of the minority do not have to be respected? Is this what they call the “tyranny of the majority”? Is the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 effective in protecting my interests in this situation?

Image credit: MPAJ newspaper cuttings archive.
Click on image for larger version.

The Day I Got Humped

As a DET (Disability Equality Training) trainer, I conduct workshops to facilitate the understanding of disability issues. At the end of these workshops, participants would have sufficient knowledge on the causes of disability and made a commitment to break environmental and attitudinal barriers in their work places or organisations.

Imagine to my horror, and embarrassment as a DET trainer, when a road hump was built across the road right next to the driveway to our house a few days ago. Wuan and I were not aware of it until she told me the next morning when she went out to discard the garbage.

We were neither informed nor asked if we consented to have the hump put up outside our house, as is the usual procedure when such a request is submitted to the municipal council, in this case, the Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ).

In the past, I have worked with MPAJ to make the surrounding areas in the housing estate more accessible. I have also given a presentation on the build environment barriers at a dialogue session with disabled people, government agencies and the private sectors organised by the municipal council. In addition to that, I have held meetings with policians (links here and here) and municipal councillors serving this constituency with regards to making Pandan Perdana more accessible to disabled people.

Therefore, imagine how flabbergasted I was when I saw the hump. All the effort in breaking barriers around the place I now call home has come to nought. To add insult to injury, there is now a formidable barrier right at my doorstep. I have filed a complaint with MPAJ and awaiting the response from their engineering department responsible for infrastructure maintenance.