Friday, August 15, 2008

Poor response from disabled

KUALA LUMPUR: There are 10,000 government jobs reserved for the disabled but only 50 of them have applied.

“The Government needs to find out why the disabled are reluctant to take up the jobs,” said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.

Several NGOs responded immediately, citing a lack of an integrated transportation system, a failure in communication, and the language barrier.

Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Mobility Association president Anthony Arokia said transport posed a major problem for the disabled.

“The transport system is a stumbling block. The moment we step out of our houses; we cannot get to the work places,” said Anthony, who is wheelchair-bound.

Taiping Community Services Association vice chairman Chow Chee Keong said it was unfortunate that some information about the job opportunities did not reach those staying outside the Klang Valley, such as in Taiping, Ipoh and Penang.

“I had, on several occasions, enquired about job opportunities from the Welfare Department office in Taiping, but the officers said they did not know much,” he said.

Beautiful Gate Foundation executive director Sia Siew Chin said many disabled persons were lowly educated and did not speak fluent Bahasa Malaysia.

Dr Ng called on the disabled community to respond to the job applications first. She said the Government would try its best to overcome the obstacles mentioned.

“They should not think negatively but instead apply for the jobs and let us know what obstacles they face in taking up the jobs,” she said.

“If more (disabled) people come forward to apply for jobs, we (the Government) might consider arranging transport for them, including getting buses to go around Putrajaya.”

On Chow’s complaint about the lack of information reaching the ground, she said it was something to be rectified.

However, she disagreed that lack of awareness of job opportunities was behind the very few number of applications from the disabled group.

“I have mentioned about the vacancies available many times in the newspapers. You (disabled people) cannot expect us to knock on your door and inform you of the opportunities,” she said.

On those who cannot converse well in Bahasa Malaysia, Dr Ng said she would look into the problem.

Source : The Star