Malaysian Bar Wants Persons With Disabilities Act Reviewed

The Bar says the PWD Act lacks specific provisions that prohibit discrimination against disabled people.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 – The Malaysian Bar today called for a review of the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 (PWD Act), saying it lacked protection against discrimination towards disabled people.

The PWD Act was enacted to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Malaysia is a state party.

But the Malaysian Bar claimed that the PWD Act only includes selected objectives from the treaty and that the convention’s full spirit was not showcased in the Act’s relatively narrow language.

“Ten years on, the Malaysian Bar continues to call on the government to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention, and to advocate for a review of the PWD Act,” Malaysian Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor said in a statement.

“The PWD Act as it stands is marred with omissions, including the lack of specific provisions that prohibit discrimination against disabled persons; the absence of provisions for judicial remedies and penalties for parties who fail to comply with the PWD Act; and an express exclusion of the Government from being sued for any wrongdoing.”

The peninsular legal body called for effectiveness in achieving the objectives of the Act, which includes providing rehabilitation, self-development, and self-reliance of persons with disabilities, among others.

“The time for a holistic review of the PWD Act is at hand, and the Malaysian Bar stands ready to lend its expertise to assist the Government to make the necessary amendments to the PWD Act, as soon as possible,” Abdul Fareed said.

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