Ministry to improve laws and rights for the OKU

PUTRAJAYA: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is targeting to resolve issues related to the amendments to the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Act 2008 and the report on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) next year.

Its secretary-general Datuk Dr Maziah Che Yusof said the ministry was studying proposals from stakeholders regarding amendments to the PwD Act before they are tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat, while the CRPD National Report will be submitted to the United Nations.

“We are aware of the need to amend the Act in tandem with the passage of time and the changing needs brought by various factors,” she said during her speech when launching International Day of Disabled Persons yesterday.

The theme of the celebration this year is “Transformation Towards Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Meeting the Accessibility and Equality of the Disabled”.

Also present were Welfare Department director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Abu Sohot and OKU Sentral president Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi.

Maziah told Bernama that the ministry remained steadfast in championing the rights of persons with disabilities (OKU) and was open to views or suggestions for the purpose of improving the well-being of the disabled.

She also said the National Council for OKU would continue to oversee the implementation of national policies and action plans related to the disabled, making recommendations to the government on all aspects of the disabled, as well as other functions listed under the PwD Act.

“Through various consultation and engagements, information and inputs obtained can be used for the planning and implementation of new, more effective programmes and initiatives specifically to develop and empower the disabled in Malaysia,” she said.

The event saw several awards being presented, including the OKU Special Award (sports) to powerlifting athlete Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, Special OKU Award (activist) to the National Council for the Blind of Malaysia executive director Wong Yoon Loong, and Exemplary Disabled Parents Award to Aznah Mohd Jani.

The Concerned Employer Award (private) went to Flextronics Technology (Penang) Sdn Bhd, TCRS Restaurants Sdn Bhd and Koperasi Warga USM Kelantan Bhd.

Wong, who took home the Special OKU Award (Activist), said the recognition was for his efforts as well as that of his team to empower the visually impaired.

“I am happy because there are improvements in education for the visually impaired, the facilities provided have improved, there are more opportunities for them to pursue their education at institutions of higher learning and more importantly, public awareness in Malaysia towards the disabled is improving,” he added.

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