Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme for this year is “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development.” On the national front, Hari OKU will be celebrated on December 4 at Wisma Bernama with the theme “KARISMA OKU: Melonjak Potensi.”
Enough with fancy slogans and themes already! It is time for the government to put into action all the promises made during conferences, press conferences and speeches. I have been in a wheelchair long enough to see that nothing much have been done to alleviate the plight of disabled people.
How many buildings in Malaysia comply with the Uniform Building By-Law 34A since it was gazetted by the various states in Malaysia in the 1990s? Can a disabled person move conveniently around his neighbourhood or catch a bus to go watch a movie?
One good thing is that medical treatment at all government hospitals is free for disabled people. Admittedly, I am a beneficiary of this generosity. However, I would have great difficulty going to the hospital if I do not have my own transport. There is no accessible bus service where I stay
Malaysia is rushing headlong to gain the developed nation status in less than a decade. Unfortunately, I foresee that disabled people in Malaysia will still be stuck in third world infrastructure come that time. This status will have no meaning to disabled people who have to struggle with barriers every step of the way.
So please, Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak, Dato Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and all cabinet ministers, I plead to you with all sincerity to make a commitment to make Malaysia a barrier-free nation by 2020. Don’t just celebrate with us on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Take action to enable and empower us. That is what a caring government must do.
Tags: disabled people Malaysia, International Day of Disabled People, Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita Keluarga dan Masyarakat, Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, UBBL 34A, Undang-Undang Kecil 34A Undang-Undang Kecil Bangunan Seragam, Uniform Building By-Law 34A, wheelchair user Malaysia
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak invited Malaysians on Facebook and Twitter to ask him questions from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm today. The Twitter hashtag is #tanyanajib while questions through Facebook can be submitted at www.facebook.com/najibrazak. I have never seen a Twitter timeline scroll down so fast. Due to the overwhelming response, the time to pose questions was extended to 6.00 pm.
I thought that this would be a good opportunity to pose the questions on longstanding disability issues to him and see if he responds. These issues are, after all, not new but ones that have gone unresolved for the longest time. Will Najib address any of them? Time will tell. By the way, at this moment, #tanyanajib is trending in ninth position worldwide. We sure have a lot of questions for the Prime Minister!
#tanyanajib Why are roads in KL full of potholes? Dangerous to motorcyclists. DBKL not doing a good job.
#tanyanajib Why is Prasarana/RapidKL so reluctant in using non-step buses? We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Look at Japan and Australia.
#tanyanajib Why is full relief on income tax not given to purchase of rehabilitative and support equipment for disabled people?
#tanyanajib Will you amend UBBL 34A to make it COMPULSORY for all buildings and street environment to have access for disabled people?
#tanyanajib Will the MRT be barrier-free?
#tanyanajib What is the govt doing to prevent abuse of parking and toilet for disabled people?
#tanyanajib Public transport is not accessible. Disabled people stuck at home. What is the govt doing to resolve this?
#tanyanajib Will Malaysia enact punitive anti-discrimination law to protect the rights of disabled people?
#tanyanajib Join OKUs on a wheelchair ride around KL to experience the mega-problems we face everyday. Not much has changed since Akta OKU.
#tanyanajib Is the govt changing “orang kurang upaya” to something more empowering? We certainly are not people of lesser abilities.
What is the govt’s plan in making Malaysia barrier free? If yes, is there a time frame to it? #tanyanajib @ShahrizatJalil
Tags: abuse of accessible parking, accessible parking, accessible toilet, Akta OKU 2008, Akta Orang Kurang Upaya 2008, barrier-free, disabled parking, disabled people Malaysia, disabled toilet, discrimination against disabled people, handicap parking, handicap toilet, handicapped parking, MRT, Najib Tun Razak, orang kurang upaya, Persons with Disabilities Act 2008, Prime Minister of Malaysia, rights of disabled people, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, UBBL 34A, Undang-Undang Kecil 34A Undang-Undang Kecil Bangunan Seragam, Uniform Building By-Law 34A, wheelchair user Malaysia
Press Release: Human Rights Day 2010: “Against All Odds”
Thursday, 09 December 2010 10:40am
On 10 December this year, the Bar Council Human Rights Committee once again joins the rest of the world in celebrating Human Rights Day.
Our focus this year is on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Malaysia recently ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”). While the Malaysian Bar welcomes this move, there are still grave concerns on the Government’s reservations to Article 3 on general principles, Article 5 on equality and non-discrimination, Article 15 on freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Article 18 on liberty of movement and nationality, and Article 30 on participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport.
Malaysia has also not signed or ratified the Optional Protocols of CRPD, which grant specific rights to the citizens/residents of a country to refer their government to the international supervisory committee for non-compliance with any of the articles.
Locally, the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 has yet to be amended to provide for any form of punishment or remedy for breaches.
These are fundamental issues that need to be addressed, to give full force and effect to the CRPD, without which the rights of persons with disabilities in this country are not even close to being fully acknowledged, what more protected.
Aimed at raising public awareness on rights of persons with disabilities, “Against All Odds” will feature a Public Forum on Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 that will take place on 12 December 2010 (Sunday) from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Bar Council Auditorium, No 15, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur.
Invited panellists, and the topics of discussion, are:
(a) Professor Dr Tiun Ling Ta, President, Persatuan Orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia: “Opportunities in education – early, primary, secondary and tertiary”;
(b) Zakaria b Yahaya, Teacher, Sekolah Menengah Pendidikan Khas Setapak, Kuala Lumpur: “Observation and expectation from the vocational and recreational perspectives”;
(c) Helen Chin, advocate and solicitor: “Malaysia’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and human rights for the disabled community in Malaysia”;
(d) A representative from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) (TBC): “Commitments by the government ministries and agencies”; and
(e) A representative from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (TBC): “Enjoying life from human rights perspectives”.
The forum will be conducted in both Bahasa Malaysia and English.
After a successful inaugural event in 2008, the Bar Council Human Rights Debate is now being featured again in conjunction with the Human Rights Day celebrations. It is a three-day event that will be held from 10-12 December 2010 (Friday to Sunday) at KDU University College, Section 13 Campus, No 76, Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Aimed at promoting free speech and creating greater awareness and education of human rights standards, while at the same time advocating important principles of international rights law, the theme for this year’s Human Rights Debate is “Against All Odds – Making a Difference for Human Rights”.
Out of RM30,000.00 prize money allocated from registration fees and corporate sponsorships, RM25,000.00 will be donated equally to five institutions caring or advocating for persons with disabilities from all over the country, to be selected by the Bar Council Human Rights Committee. The remaining RM5,000.00 will be awarded as prize money to the champion of the tournament.
Teams from 18 institutions, including some from India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Singapore, as well as local universities such as Universiti Malaya and Universiti Putra Malaysia, have registered for the tournament.
This is a unique debating tournament, the first in the world to be hosted by a statutory body of legal professionals.
Admission to both the public forum and the human rights debate tournament is free, and open to the public. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required in order to attend the public forum. To register, please contact Adi Irman by telephone at 03-2031 3003 ext 105 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 Dec 2010
Tags: Akta OKU 2008, Akta Orang Kurang Upaya 2008, Bar Council, Convention of the Right of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD, disabled people Malaysia, discri, discrimination against disabled people, Helen Chin, human rights, Human Rights Day, Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat, Jabatan Pembangunan Orang Kurang Upaya JPOKU, JKM, Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita Keluarga dan Masyarakat, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Pe, POCAM, Ragunath Kesavan, rights of disabled people, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Society of the Orthopaedically Handicapped Malaysia, The Malaysian Bar, Tiun Ling Ta