|Unanimous thumbs up from everyone|
MALAYSIAN WITH DISABILITIES had a rare opportunity yesterday to get a glimpse of "a new Petaling Jaya", in the state of Selangor.
"The new city" will be marked by a brand new 12-acre commercial land development area called the PJ Sentral Garden City.
Located in Section 52 in PJ, and currently being occupied by PKNS, the upcoming purpose-built project will feature state-of-the-art disabled-friendly facilities that have never been seen before.
"Wheelchair users will find it a breeze to move about in the area without any barriers with its universal designs," said Michael Simon Karuppiah, executive director of UniMediaNetwork Sdn Bhd based in KL.
|Deep in discussion|
UniMediaNetwork consultant for PJ Sentral Development Sdn Bhd who are responsible for the Garden City.
Michael was speaking as chairman at a special dialogue session at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in KL where PJ Sentral conducted a special briefing of their prized project for members of PETPOSITIVE, the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association.
Nearly three dozen people with disabilities and their caregivers turned up for the afternoon half-day function that began after a sumptuous lunch which was treated by the company.
Whilst the majority of participants were in wheelchairs, others included the blind, people with learning disabilities, stroke and the elderly.
"We are not here only to tell you what we are doing; but also to get your advice on how we can make it even more user-friendly to all of you," said Michael before opening up the floor for feedback.
Almost everyone who turned up spoke.
Several disabled activists thanked the creators of the PJ Sentral Garden City idea for making the needs of the disabled and the elderly a priority concern.
A participant who is paralysed from his neck down said with a lump in his throat:
"Once PJ's Garden City is completed, I will at last be able to celebrate Merdeka (Malaysia's Independence Day) for the first time".
|The discussion room|
"In this way, we are able to give you guys valuable input - no developer had gone this far before to do this!" he remarked.
An elderly woman, however, couldn't stop herself from being cynical.
"Please don't blame me for feeling this way," she told PET+BLOGSPOT after the session.
"Many parties had made promises to improve the handicapped's plight but never kept their word in the end," she pointed out.
"Please don't get me wrong; it's clearly wonderful - but I won't believe it until I truly see it - and only then will I congratulate anyone."
The session which was supposed to end at 4pm lasted an extra hour.
Many refused to go home because they were having such a good time.
Most of them had never had a private session like this with a developer previously.
Furthermore, they told PET+BLOGSPOT the news was too good to go back without sharing their reactions to the other participants.
But it was Michael who finally had the last say.
"We are so moved by all that you have shared with us today so much so that we will now seriously think of adding several key persons from your group into a special committee to help us fine-tune the user-friendly details of the project." He concluded.
|Imran at a previous function|
Arriving in Malaysia from Autralia a day earlier, Imran announced that the PJ Sentral Garden City project will incorporate Australia's designs on disability accessibility standards in all of its universal designs.
PJ Gardens will, at the same time, engage with local disabled people in order to get their views on the Aussie standards.
The PJ Sentral Garden City is the first project of the Selangor state government's move towards regeneration, rejuvenation and revitalisation.
Petpositive thanks Garpurna Group Sdn Bhd for organising the special lunch-cum-briefing for our members.
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