A journalist from The Sunday Times in Singapore sent an email two days and called just now when I was at Gurney Plaza with SapiensBryan, ReallyBites and KS and his wife. He requested an interview regarding the disabled toilet issue and the offending person being dropped by her sponsors. I declined. This reluctance stemmed from a telephone conversation I had with her remaining sponsor where my words were allowed to be quoted out of context.
My silence thus far is neither an admission of guilt nor of wrongdoing. I have said my piece. I have made my stand. Wrong is still wrong no matter what. Malicious words thrown my way will not change the fact that a disabled person using a toilet adapted to his needs was wickedly depicted. The condescending way in which she described that incident and people with disabilities was most appalling.
Many have asked if I really emailed her sponsors. Yes, I did. However, that single mail did not have much effect. One sponsor wrote back to say that they would speak to her regarding her use of profanities and blogging on sensitive issues. There was no indication of them wanting to pull out. It was the collective complaints from others who were offended by her thoughtless remarks that became her death knell. I have never enlisted any of them into this battle. I fight my own battles. They joined in the fray because they have a conscience and the mind to distinguish the right from the wrong.
It was never my intention to hurt her financially as her remaining sponsor had hinted. Sponsors have a right to know when the people who endorse their products misbehave. And it was also within my right to inform them that I found their advertisement placed together in the same space as that offending entry tasteless. In this case, they decided that she did not portray an image that they desired and pulled out. If there is anyone to blame, she should blame herself for having her sponsorship revoked because of her tactless behaviour.
For far too long, the rights of people with disabilities have been trampled on, ignored and overlooked. We are handicapped, not by our own disabilities, but by unfriendly constructions and uninformed societal perceptions that restrict our independence. We have every right to enjoy life as any other person. Sadly, we are constantly and shamelessly being deprived of the little conveniences that have been provided to make our lives easier. I am making my stand here and now. Enough is enough. Yes, we are no pushover anymore. Think twice before trying to take us on because we will fight back. I will fight back.