Employee proves disability is no barrier

SALES assistant Chan Thye Huat is proof that with determination and perseverance, people with disabilities (Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU)) can excel in the workplace.

Chan, who works in the grocery division of the Subang Jaya Giant Hypermarket, received the Most Outstanding OKU Employee award at a presentation ceremony held at the Putra Heights Giant Hypermarket recently.

Chan, who was diagnosed with a learning disability, joined the company when it took in its first batch of disabled employees in 2007.

“Even though I know that I’m disabled, I treat myself as a normal working person.

“I’m happy because I can work, and perform my duties like any normal person. I was given many opportunities.

“I’ve always believed that what others can do, I can do,, too,” he said.

His parents, who were invited to attend the ceremony, beamed with pride as they snapped photos of him receiving his award.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Senator Datuk Maznah Mazlan presented a special certificate of appreciation from the government to GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which owns the Giant chain of supermakets and hypermarkets, in recognition of its contribution to training and hiring the disabled.

The company initiated the training programme for the disabled in October 2007. Selected trainees must complete an intensive three-month probation period.

At the ceremony, 47 disabled employees received their certificate for completing the training.

The company’s senior manager, Nesan Kandiah, received a certificate of appreciation from the Human Resources Ministry for his role as one of the job coaches for the trainees.

Four disabled employees also received certificates in recognition of their long service to the company. Mohd Kassim Kalithasan and Salawati Mohamed have worked in Giant for 12 years and 10 years respectively, while both Law Chee Kin and Wong Kok Keong have served the company for eight years.

According to GCH Retail (Malaysia) marketing director Ho Mun Hao, the chain has 105 full-time employees who are disabled.

“Our long-term goal is to provide employment for as many of them as possible,” he said.

The company presented RM5,000 each to United Voice and Malaysian Care, the two NGOs it worked with.

Maznah encouraged companies to provide jobs for single mothers, the disabled, housewives and poor families to work from home.

“So far, there are 78 companies in Malaysia that provide home working opportunities and a total of 2,056 people are taking part,” she said.

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