Don’t leave us behind, disabled groups tell government

PETALING JAYA: Activists today hit out at the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, accusing it of not being sensitive enough when it comes to assisting the disabled community.

Anthony Thanasayan, who is president of Petpositive or the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association, said the PH government had not reached out to disabled groups since winning the general election in May last year.

He claimed the ministry in charge had never consulted with stakeholders or disabled groups to determine their needs.

“The ministers should be consulting us, they don’t know much about us.

“They promised a lot before the general election, but nothing has been delivered to us yet,” he told FMT.

He also voiced disappointment with the budget allocated for disabled groups this year, which he said was insufficient.

He urged the government to engage more with the community and to listen to their desires and needs.

“When they came out with their manifesto, they promised a lot of things for the disabled community.

“We want to see what they have for us.”

Thanasayan also called for a review of the Welfare Department and an assessment of how many people had been reached, and whether this included those in poor areas.

Persatuan Orang Kurang Upaya Anggota Melayu Malaysia president Suhairi Abdullah agreed that the government was not paying enough attention to the disabled community.

“We are not attacking the current government, but it is true that they are not paying enough attention.

“From our observations, there has been nothing done for us yet, overall. We are only enjoying what the previous government provided. In a way, our welfare was guaranteed under their administration.”

He too said there were no significant allocations for the disabled community in Budget 2019.

V Murugeswaran, president of the Damai Disabled People Association, urged the relevant ministries to meet with the disabled community to solve their issues.

He praised the women, family and community development ministry for being progressive and fighting for the rights of children.

“It’s very good, but don’t neglect us,” he added. “We also need the same attention.

“Our issues can be resolved as well. We have many types of disabilities such as physical disabilities, those who are visually impaired, those whose hearing is affected, slow learners and others.

“Don’t leave us behind.”