Disabled-ramp blockage riles Malaysians


PETALING JAYA - The news of a car blocking the disabled ramp during a Christmas countdown party in Penang has exasperated Malaysians who voiced out for the disabled community.

Independent Living and Training Centre Malaysia president Francis Siva, who is wheelchair-bound, said the public must change their mindset and be more sensitive to the needs of the disabled.

"Malaysians have the tidak apa culture. They would use the parking bay meant for the disabled without any thought for the handicap drivers. They would even use toilets not designated for them.

"They have not been in our shoes, so please don't take advantage of the facilities that are provided for us. We are also human beings and part of society as well," said Francis.

Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association president Anthony Thanasayan said the lack of enforcement by the authorities had led to able-bodied people doing things for their own convenience.

"We are living in a society that are getting selfish every day. We cannot expect people to obey the law without any enforcement," he said.

Charles Wong, executive director of Tetap Tiara Sdn Bhd that owns and developed Jaya One, a retail and restaurant hub here, said: "Those who abuse the facilities will be penalised accordingly. Our security staff will clamp the vehicles (which are without stickers for the disabled but parked at such bays.)"

The photograph of the car blocking the disabled ramp during the Christmas countdown party at Gurney Drive was uploaded on Facebook by Pulau Tikus assemblyman Yap Soo Huey.

On Dec 10, a man recorded a video of an able-bodied shopper parking her car at a spot designated for the disabled at a mall in Penang to send out a message about "selfish and inconsiderate" people.