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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 8:03:44 AM
by yasmin ahmad kamil
Making known their dissatisfaction : Members of the Independent Living and Training Centre and Petpositive holding placards during the protest outside the JKM Gombak office in Jalan Batu Cave
FORTY disabled individuals staged a protest outside the JKM Gombak Office in Jalan Batu Caves.
They were protesting against the new policy requiring annual renewals in order for disabled workers to receive payments from the Social Welfare Department (JKM).
They said the policy, of which they were unaware, had resulted in many welfare recipients not receiving the money for the past few months.
Independent Living and Training Centre (ILTC) secretary Gurdip Kaur said JKM did not send out letters to inform them about the change.
She said many had received an unpleasant surprise upon finding that their monthly allowance had not been banked in.
“They should have informed those concerned before introducing this policy,” said Gurdip, who has been wheelchair-bound for 20 years.
ILTC president Francis Siva said many people in Selangor were affected by the policy.
“The yearly renewal requirement makes life difficult for us,” he said.
He said many were dependent on others to get about.
He said going to the offices was a challenge as many did not have facilities to cater to the disabled, such as ramps for those in wheelchairs.
“We will seek the Government’s help as the RM300 given is very useful to us,” he said, adding that many were dependent on this allowance.
The Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) vice-president Jeyaraj Santraju said JKM personnel had also sent out the Disabled Workers Allowance forms late.
Jeyaraj said even after the forms were submitted, payment was not received and when contacted, JKM staff had said payment would commence the following month.
“They said my allowance would commence in September but that did not happen.
“I contacted them again and they said it would be made the next month,” said Jeyaraj, who is still waiting for his allowance.
Many said they were concerned that the delays would continue despite having submitted their forms.
Jeyaraj said even though the policy was to overcome the problem of JKM continuing to give out allowances to even the deceased, it should be better handled and not cause problems to the disabled.
He added that JKM should not penalise those still living and dependant on the allowance.
Jeyaraj also said payment date was not consistent and that the allowance should be raised to RM500 as the cost of living had escalated.
No JKM representatives were present during the protest.
The protestors later entered JKM’s office and continued to voice out their grievances.
When contacted, a JKM personnel said the department would look into the matter and find a solution soon.
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Community, Central Region, Lifestyle, People, Family & Community, protest, JKM, ILTC, disabled
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