PUTRAJAYA - Those with speech or hearing disorders now have access to a smartphone application that will send a message to rescue services asking for help during an emergency.
SaveMe 999 is a non-voice application that operates through a smartphone with mobile connectivity.
Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the Government had developed the application, which was available for free download at www.SaveME.999.gov.my.
"Telekom Malaysia Bhd (which helped build SaveMe 999) is now looking at a similar application for the blind," he said during the launch of the application at a hotel here yesterday.
To use the application, users will be required to key in certain personal details, including name, details of the disability, next-of-kin's contact details and their OKU (orang kelainan upaya) registration number.
The information will be stored for the reference of emergency rescuers, when their services are called for.
To report an emergency, the user is required to click on the type of emergency being reported and may choose to upload a photo of the incident.
The location of the smartphone user will be sent to the rescue service through a GPS (global positioning system) function.
The user will receive an SMS (short message service) notification when the report has been successfully submitted to the 999 service.
About 1.6 per cent of the Malaysian population - or 464,967 people - is recorded in the Social Welfare Department database as having a disability.
Of these, 42,909 are visual-impaired, 55,517 are hearing-impaired, 153,918 have physical disabilities, 170,809 have learning disabilities, 2,725 have speech impairments and 16,998 have mental disabilities.
Ahmad Shabery said the ministry would study the possibility of extending the use of SaveMe 999 to everyone.
"I also wish to remind the people not to abuse the emergency services."