Not letting blindness keep them from voting

(From left) Yap with Jereni Ngalambang, Uton and Nari at his blind massage centre.

SIBU: Visually-impaired Yap Chong Yap will be exercising his democratic right to cast his vote today.

Yap, who is operating a blind massage centre with two other people, said he rarely missed the opportunity to vote.

“I started voting since I was 21 years old and only missed it once when I was out of town,” he said yesterday.

Yap, 57, said his wife, Chia Lee The, would drive him to the polling centre to vote.

“Both of us will be voting in the Lanang constituency and go to the polling centre after 2pm.

“This is because we have to work in the morning and moreover, if we go in the morning, there will be a long queue at the polling centre,” he said.

Yap lost his right eye in an accident. His left eye is also visually-impaired.

The accident happened 20 years ago at a timber camp in Miri where he was working as a shovel driver.

The vehicle he was in was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle.

Yap’s mate, Nari Jerayit, 62, would also not miss the chance to cast his vote with his blind wife, Uton Bilum.

“We will be going to the polling centre in the morning if we can solve our transport problem.

“We hope the blind centre will look into resolving the issue,” he said.

When asked how he cast his vote previously, he replied, “We told the election worker who we wanted to vote for.

“After that, I made the ‘X’ mark on the ballot paper with their assistance.”

Nari and his wife are staying in Jalan Sentosa, which is located in the Lanang constituency.

Sibu Blind Centre chairman Clarence Ting said they would be providing transport for blind individuals to get to their respective polling centres.

“They will have to come to the centre so that we can arrange transportation for them,” he added.

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Family & Community , East Malaysia , blind , voter , GE14


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