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KUCHING, Oct 21: According to PBDSB Youth, the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008 should be enforced as law to protect the welfare of those with special needs as it is currently only a guide, and since it is just a guide, no action is imposed against offenders.
“The term ‘OKU’ and ‘cacat’ should be replaced by a more friendly term such as ‘special needs’. In Europe, they are called ‘special needs’. Most of these people are able to do a job better than normal people. They are also working independently and able to support their wife and children. This is the grace of God, the advantages of shortcomings. They do not ask for this but this is God’s gift,” said its chief Rapelson Richard Hamit in a press statement today.
“Facilities or incentives should be provided by the federal and state governments for these groups such as half price for public transportation and aviation fares, telecommunication facilities, water and electricity, special housing scheme facilities and other facilities.”
According to Rapelson, there has been an improvement in the public consciousness towards the differently abled such as supermarkets with special toilet facilities and car parks, and even small shoplots also provide special needs parking facilities.
He also wants welfare allocations for this needy group to be increased in the Budget, to match the current reality.
“EPC (Disabled Workers Allowance) should be increased from RM350 to RM500, Elderly Assistance (BOT) raised from RM300 to RM500, Disabled Care/Chronic Care Patient (BPT) assistance raised from RM200 to RM500, Child Helpline Assistance (BAP) is set to RM500 per person, Disabled Employment Support (FFB) assistance increased from RM200 to RM600, Child Aid (BKK) raised up to RM500 per person up to 18 years, launch grants increased from RM5,000 to RM10,000 and given entrepreneurial training, single maternal allowance should be set to RM500, and School Aid raised up to RM500.”
The state government should also provide a RM2,000 incentive to newly-wed Sarawak youth, RM500 incentive for newborn Sarawakians, elderly allowance of RM500 and RM2,000 for immediate assistance to Sarawakians who have died for corpse management, he added.
Rapelson said 1 per cent of job opportunities for people with special needs should be set aside and fulfilled in the public and private sectors as there are many who are qualified but not given opportunities. These incentives and facilities should be given fairly to special needs, he concluded. — DayakDaily