SIBU: Paddy farmer Maya Benang has a sister who is deaf. Due to her disability and low education, her sister, 28, has to stay at home as nobody wants to employ her.
Home is in rural area of Song District, about one hour boat ride from here.
However, according to Maya, from the river bank, they have to use a small boat along the stream to get to their longhouse.
“During low tide, we have to walk for close to two hours to reach our longhouse,” she said of the difficulty that rural folk like them have to face.
Her sister, she said, was born deaf and due to her disability, she was “also shy to meet people”.
Her parents have been her caregiver since young.
“As our parents are nearing 70 now, they can now longer look after her like before,” she said when met after registering her sister with the Welfare Department’s mobile registration for disabled person (OKU) at the Central Market yesterday.
Maya, who was accompanied by her husband, Lu Panting, was told by officers of the department that if her sister’s application was approved, she would receive disability benefit of up to RM300 a month.
A coordinating officer of the department for Sibu, Liza Kalsuma, said the two-day mobile registration was held to encourage more disabled persons to register with them so that they could receive disability benefit.
“This is also the first time we are holding this as there are still people with various forms of disabilities who are not aware of the financial benefit that they could get from the department,” he said.
For those with physical disability “which can be seen with the eyes”, like losing one leg for certain reason, she said, they did not need a medical report to have their application approved for prosthesis.
Other than that, they would need a medical report, especially those with mental illness, lost of hearing and so on.
“They will need to fill in the application form. Once approved in one month’s time, they will receive OKU identity cards which entitle them to receive a host of benefits, including financial aid, the quantum of which depends on what type of disabilty which they are having,” he said.
On Saturday, they received 17 applications but they were expecting more from yesterday due to longer registration hours from 9am to 4pm.