Another blind woman faces shattered dreams

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Aug 2004


KUALA LUMPUR: Visually impaired Pua Ming Hui, 23, battled the odds to obtain a first-class honours degree in Language and Linguistics from Universiti Malaya. 

Having achieved this, the daughter of a lorry driver applied to become a teacher, which was her ambition.  

She was overjoyed when she received a letter from the Education Ministry inviting her to sit for the qualifying test. 

DISABILITY NOT A BARRIER: Pua catching up with local and international news on her laptop at her home in Setapak Garden on Sunday.

But to her dismay, the ministry withdrew the letter when they found out she was blind. 

“When the ministry official called me on Aug 3 and told me that I could not sit for the examination because they did not have the facilities, I was devastated. 

“I pleaded with the officer to allow a volunteer to read the questions to me and help me tick my choice of answers. But the officer said that was not possible,” Pua told The Star. 

The IT-savvy Pua, who has a personal computer with a voice synthesiser, sent an e-mail to The Star about the incident.  

“Just because we are blind, it is not fair to say that we cannot teach. Everyone should be given equal opportunity,” Pua said. 

“Throughout my university years, I have worked out and tried different ways of solving reading, writing and examination problems after discussing with the lecturers and administrative staff.” 

She said that The Star Online was her window to the outer world as she frequently read the news on her laptop to keep abreast of local and international developments using the Job Access With Speech software. 

She studied at SM Air Panas Setapak and obtained 9As in the SPM examination.  

She stays with her parents in Setapak Garden. 

Her father Yong Kok, 56, is still working to support her and her three brothers.  

Last week, Laxme Preyalatha related a similar call she got from the ministry, adding that her ambition to become a teacher had been shattered. 

In response, Education director-general Tan Sri Abdul Rafie Mahat said Laxme would not have to sit for the qualifying test as those with disabilities were exempted. 

Pua said ministry officials should break new grounds and not be stereotyped in their thinking. 

“All I want to do is to use the talent God has given me to teach others, not only blind students but also the sighted,” Pua added. 

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