Thursday, July 09, 2009

Councillor: Residents have different disabilities - The Star

Wednesday July 8, 2009

Councillor: Residents have different disabilities

KUALA KUBU BARU: The public lacks understanding on the different disabilities suffered by residents at the Taman Sinar Harapan welfare home, said Petaling Jaya City Council councillor Anthony Thanasayan.

“These are specific disabilities, such as autism or speech disability. You can’t treat them the way you treat healthy people,” he told reporters after visiting the shelter home here with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil yesterday.

He said there were specific needs to be attended to and hence, special ways of dealing with them.

Thanasayan, who writes the “Wheel Power” column in The Star, believes that the residents should have their conditions re-evaluated.

“They either should not be here or that there should be specific programmes designed to help them.

“As a disabled 49-year-old, I’m very concerned,” he said.

Thanasayan said the responsibility of taking care of the disabled has always been passed to the Social Welfare Department.

“But the department can’t do this alone,” he said.

He described the Government’s decision to improve the quality of treatment for the residents as a giant step forward.

“What has happened should not have happened. However, I can see that the staff here treat them with love and care. All we need is to set a standard and enforce it,” he added.

Thanasayan said drug prescription for the residents should be done by government doctors.

He hoped that Malaysians would pay attention to the plight of other disabled people, too.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. What about parents who have disabled kids at home who are facing the same problem?” he added.

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