Activists say employers need training on how to communicate with disabled workers.
PETALING JAYA: Two activists for the disabled have called on the government to provide training for employers on how to communicate with workers who are disabled.
Speaking to FMT, V Murugeswaran and Anthony Thanasayan said it was apparent to them that some employers didn’t understand the needs of the disabled.
They were commenting on a video uploaded to the internet which showed three disabled persons being assaulted, allegedly by the owner of the restaurant they were employed at.
“They hire OKUs (disabled persons), but do not understand what their needs and shortcomings are,” said Murugeswaran, who is the president of the Damai Disabled People Association.
He also said companies should not employ disabled workers just to “show off” that they had done their part in corporate social responsibility.
“It is the responsibility of the employers to ensure the disabled workers are protected,” he said. “If they cannot do so, then do not employ us. The disabled can find other jobs to do.”
Thanasayan, who is the president of Petpositive (Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association), said the Welfare Department (JKM) must provide support groups for disabled workers to help them cope with work problems.
“It is JKM’s job to provide help to OKUs,” he said. “But I do not see them doing anything about this.”
In an interview with Sin Chew Daily on Wednesday, the three disabled persons shown in the video of the assault claimed they were treated worse than foreign workers.
Two of the them apparently have learning disabilities and the other one has difficulty moving around.
They told Sin Chew they could only keep silent and continue working despite being abused as they felt they could not get another job.
They also alleged that their employer did not contribute to their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Sosco) accounts.
On Wednesday, Kajang police chief Othman Nanyan said the restaurant owner and his nephew had been remanded for four days. The case is being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code for assault and Section 506 for criminal intimidation.
Murugeswaran and Thanasayan congratulated the police for their swift action.