Right, so I was asked by Shar101 to list down my views and wishes that concerns the disabled community nation-wide. From what I understood, the feedback will be used by a group of concerned citizens to eventually present it to all politicians who will be contesting for the next GE. As Shar puts it exactly, it will be some sort of wish-list from the said community meant for all political parties to look into. To me, In other words, it is more to provide materials for them to create promises for their respective party manifesto.
As everyone might have known, I have some soft spot reserved for them government and its not in my nature to have a whack at anyone blindly. But based on personal accounts, I don’t think they have done much, not just from the last election but longer than that.
Sure they the government have done a lot for us crips but undeniably the space for improvement are simply huge and leaves much to be desired still. In fact some of the feedbacks I listed down in the said manifesto were of some basic necessities.
Things like transportation. You can count public buses out. They’re plain hopeless. The steps, the narrow passage entrance that leads you into the bus and shit…Seriously, how in the world would that to accommodate passengers on wheelchair? Sounds almost illogical. The predicament doesn’t just stop there. The unfriendly curbs along the road side just have to be there and make life more difficult for us, don’t they?
A few disabled groups organized a demo against bus company Rapid KL some time back and was promised to get the grouses looked into. They even showcased buses equipped with hydraulic lift-ramp and promised to get them on the roads in the future. As it turns out it was just another empty-can talk. Honestly, have you seen a guy on wheelchair sitting comfortably in a bus lately? A ‘Yes’ would be a big, fat fucking lie.
Now if the government is serious in solving our woes, they would have ticked off the company for not heeding the government’s campaign, right? Was there any action taken? Hell no. Even if there was any, problems getting onto buses is still very much unsolved.
Then comes the unfriendly building structure in condos, shops, banks and stuff. We’ve got the whatever shit building by-laws passed in 1998 or something, that require developers to construct wheelchair-accessible building.. But no, take my place for instance, The developer didn’t bother to make the whole condo a disabled-friendly environment and yet they get the approval from the local council or whoever fuck responsible. They can just piss on the useless by-law and the relevant authority does what they’re always very good at; closing one eye.
So to the G, more needs to be done. We’ve heard all the promises made but have yet to see some of them fully materializes. Its cheaper to tell you folks to walk the talk but have we with any choices left?
Normally all the benefits and special privileges are associated with Persons With Disability (PWD), which admittedly, there are some truth in it but our demands are for equal rights and opportunity more than just goody-bags. We’re no pampered lot. For example why do we need hydraulic lift-ramps on buses some may ask. Peanuts. Like any other commuters, we want the benefit of riding a cheap public transport too. That’s what equal right’s all about.