District welfare head rapped for not meeting disabled

ALOR SETAR - State executive councillor Datuk Suraya Yaacob has taken Kulim district welfare head Rohana Yusof to task for not receiving a memorandum by a group of disabled persons.

The incident on Sunday took a painful turn when a disabled man, biting the memorandum in his mouth, decided to crawl up a flight of stairs to the welfare office to deliver the note.

Some 50 people from the Persatuan OKU Setia Daerah Kulim, many of them more able-bodied than wheelchair bound Gnana Pragasan, 53, had gathered at the municipal council building at around 1.30pm to meet Rohana.

Rohana had reportedly refused to receive the memorandum and remained at the department's office on the first floor of the municipal building.

After waiting for about an hour, Gnana took the memorandum and climbed the stairs on his hands and disabled legs, watched by the others.

Suraya, the state Women Deve­lopment, Community Welfare, Agri­culture and Agro-Based and Entre­preneur Development committee chairman, said she regretted the incident and apologised to the group.

"There was a misunderstanding because the officer was ill-advised not to go down to meet the group and accept the memorandum," Suraya told reporters during a visit to a site of a fire in Pendang, about 20km from here, yesterday.

She added that she and state welfare department director Zulkifli Ramli will meet the group soon.

"The state government has also agreed to re-look into the location of the welfare office, to make it more accessible for the disabled," she said.