KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry today denied neglecting people with disabilities after several activists held a protest.
The ministry said Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the women, family and community development minister, and Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh have organised several meetings with non-government organisations (NGOs) of people with disabilities.
“There is no question of the government neglecting OKU,” the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said in a statement, using the Malay initials for people with disabilities.
The ministry added that issues related to people with disabilities are discussed in an OKU National Council Meeting that are held twice a year.
“However, the Ministry is always open and welcomes any suggestions or input by any party for improvement for the sake of empowering the OKU in Malaysia. The Ministry is currently perusing the memorandum that was handed over.”
A group of activists fighting for people with disabilities protested at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s office yesterday to hand the minister a memorandum, claiming that the ministry did not show concern for the disabled community.
Free Malaysia Today reported the group’s spokesman, Anthony Thanasayan, as saying that previous Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil from Barisan Nasional (BN) had met them in the past, unlike Dr Wan Azizah and Yeoh.
Anthony claimed that Pakatan Harapan (PH) has done “nothing” for the disabled community, highlighting the lack of facilities for the disabled and elderly like parking bays and wheelchairs.
The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said today that its focus was on ensuring the involvement of at least 1 per cent of OKU in employment, while the Social Welfare Department has implemented programmes like disability equality training, job coach services, and creating a sub-category for OKU study cards and independent living programmes.
Yeoh posted several photographs of the OKU Development Department meeting several OKU NGOs.
“There are more than half a million OKU groups in Malaysia, there’s no way we can solve all the problems faced by various OKU categories in a year. Those who allege that BN is better shows freedom of expression post-Malaysia Baharu,” said the DAP lawmaker.