The Plight of the Disabled in Malaysia

 The physically and mentally challenged are the most neglected and ignored units of society in Malaysia. Take a look around this nation I proudly call my own and one would be able to relate to this unfortunate, sad yet alterable by the will state of affairs to help and facilitate such beautiful, uncomplaining, placid not to mention long suffering people to lead lives of better, clement, workable quality. More often than not, they don't have a voice to set forth their hanker for a decent, independent living. It is indeed punctuated that the Malaysian government is being a minimalist when it comes to the dilemma of the disabled, preferring to turn a blind eye to the obvious.

The 2012 budget holds not even measly allocations and prominence for the disabled to enjoy. At a time when prices of  household goods reaching the stratosphere, how RM 300 monthly worth of money would make ends meet? The most frugal people would find it hard to cope with that pathetically dissipating amount.

Facilities structured specifically for the disabled is nearly non-existent in public places and city centers. The omission is prevalent and profound such want is due to insensitivity and apathy for the special needs of those who are physically challenged, thus creating a barrier for the disabled to move along and stand shoulder to shoulder with able bodied society.

Actually, infrastructures amendments for the disabled is cost effective and very much affordable; instead of staircases at shoplots, ramps of low gradient would be convenient for wheelchair users since flat surfaces facilitate movements. Elevators must exist alongside staircases and escalators in service and job providing buildings; it is not too much to ask.

Public toilets with elbow room and wider entrances are still a rare facility in Malaysia, where the wheelchair could fit in and still have ample space for comfortable movement. Lavatories at hospitals and R&R are excluded; they are prime examples of how loos for the non-ambulatorial should manifest and function. This needliness is best addressed immediately because it is a pressing concern and the disabled could build their confidence that they can go out in relief and hassle free.

As citizens of Malaysia, the disabled deserve the best the country has to offer and I believe that this unit of society can actively contribute to the GDP in an augmenting fashion. All that is needed is the input of fiscal allocation, an effective, active quota system, education and job opportunities, initiation, compassionate effort and extensive awareness to build a caring society so that such underprivileged, disadvantageous, almost always at the losing end people lead, productive, purposeful lives and possess a reason to smile. :-)

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