'It's based more on charity than justice'
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) is disappointed with the Budget announced yesterday.
Its president, Anthony Thanasayan, said the Budget was tailored more for able-bodied persons rather than the smaller group of handicapped who comprised 10 per cent of the country's 28-odd million population.
Anthony, who is also the Petaling Jaya City Council councillor in charge of disabled persons, said, nonetheless, the 2010 Budget was far better than for 2009.
"The increase from RM50 to RM250 a month in allowance for disabled children is lauded. However, we have been lobbying for RM300 a month as it will be more meaningful to cover expenses like medication, medical equipment and personal expenses.
"We are disappointed that the Budget is more charity than justice-based. Charity is handouts which appears to leave us out of the 1Malaysia concept. Aren't we part of it?"
Anthony said the allocation for infrastructure should have taken into account proper walkway pavements, elevators and toilets for the disabled and elderly.
"The pavements are not friendly for even the able-bodied. Many are uneven and have obstructions, such as potholes, lamp posts and signboards.
"We need universally-designed pavements that have safety features, like railings to prevent children from falling into the drains."
Anthony also said schools should have proper toilet facilities for disabled children.
He hoped the government would also consider providing free Internet service for the bed-ridden and physically handicapped.
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