Friday, January 07, 2011

APAC Lambasted By MBPJ Councillor

APAC seeking cheap publicity



THE ALL PETALING JAYA RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION COALITION or APAC has been taken to task for not taking responsibility for the conduct of one of its members under its sub-committee at a disabled seminar organised by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), last month.

Called, "Moving Forward, Keeping The Promise", the organising chairman and MBPJ Councillor, Anthony SB Thanasayan - who is also in charge of Section 52 where the seminar was held - had written a letter to APAC president Johan Tung on January 1st this year.

In it he strongly protested against the actions by Miss Bathmavathi Krishnan, a subcommittee member of APAC in a wheelchair who, together with three other persons also in wheelchairs, gatecrashed into the seminar that was held in PJ's Civic Centre on December 29, 2010.

Some of the mixed participants

Their purpose, he said, was to clearly try and derail the discussions with their very personal caustic criticisms and baseless arguments.   

"Not only that, the subcommittee member took her wild concocted tirade of distortions and half truths about the MBPJ seminar to the media (see report below)," he told PET+BLOGSPOT yesterday.

He then went on to refute each one of them that were made in the newspaper. 

His points were also included in his protest letter to Tung, he said.

Describing the complaints as "a mischievous attempt to discredit all the good work that MBPJ had initiated since (Thanasayan) became councillor in 2008" he said:   

The speakers on disability were disabled themselves

A) Lie No 1: "The disabled were not invited to the seminar"

1) First and foremost; it is not only the organiser's prerogative to decide on the purpose and agenda of an event; but they also reserve the right to choose who they wish to invite as participants in order to meet the objectives of the event.

2) Second, the event was a closed-door affair and not for the public meeting. 

3) Third, it was specifically targeted at the able-bodied community - NOT people with disabilities. 

Its focus was on the present key stakeholders such as resident association leaders, heads of religious organisations and places of worship, architects, local councillors and their heads of departments - all who have the power and influence in their positions to make a qualitative difference in the lives of disabled persons. 

The seminar was geared to educate them and get them talking about how they can play their parts in creating a barrier-free society.

B) Lie No 2: "APAC was not invited"

1) Tung was not only one of the first participants to be sent an invitation to but also the first to acknowledge receipt of the invitation. 

Signing for Deaf particants

This was expressed personally to Thanasayan through the several calls made to him to confirm his attendance.

2) Tung was also briefed that the seminar was targeted at the non disabled only. 

3) Tung who turned up at the event, took part in the floor discussions and publicly announced that APAC was pleased with the seminar. 

C) Lie No 3: "The disabled were sidelined at the seminar." 

1)  This gives a cunning impression as if there were no disabled persons or their organisations present at the seminar at all.

There were in fact four officially registered disability societies at the seminar. 

Two of them were the Dyslexic Association of Malaysia (PDM) and the Malaysian Animal Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (PETPOSITIVE).  

Both of them are national based non profit NGOs from Kuala Lumpur. 

The other two were the Society for the Interpreters for the Deaf or SID and the Independent Living and Training Centre (ILTC) - a self help organisation run by people with disabilities themselves. 

Both organisations are Wilayah and Selangor societies with the former based in KL and the latter in Rawang, Selangor.

All of them have disabled and elderly members living in the city of PJ as well as nationwide.

2) The speakers also came from the above organisations to express the views of the blind, Deaf, people with physical disabilities and the elderly at the seminar.

The speakers included a tetraplegic, an expert in the field of learning disabilities, a blind speaker and a Deaf. 

There was also a carer for an elderly gentleman who was struck with stroke recently.

By contrast, the gatecrashers were only wheelchair users.

3) Each of the organisations are also council members of MBPJ's disability technical team that is responsible for their input in making PJ disabled-friendly.

4) Invitations were also given out to organisations that represent people with mental illness, People with Parkinson's, stroke and others who were unable to make it for the session.

D) Lie No 4: "The disabled were denied their right of say" 

1) Each of the four gatecrashers not only got to speak at almost every session, and also at length, but they even tried to divert the flow of the discussions to bring up their petty and personal issues which should have been raised in another platform or to the departments directly responsible for them.

2) One of them used a vulgar term at the planning director at the seminar to run down MBPJ's award-winning disability projects. 

3) Others tried potshots at the distinguished speakers for the day with accusations of hypocrisy to playing with ridiculous language semantics.

4) From feedback received afterwards, most of the participants including the speakers were totally put off by their conduct as well as that of APAC's.

Complaints about their conduct - as well as APAC's role in the incident - were made to Thanasayan before he took the matter up in writing with the association.

However, Thanasayan received a response from Tung four days later, brushing aside the incident and stating that the matter as far as they are concerned is "closed". 

In a fresh reply to Tung on January 5, Thanasayan expressed his shock and disappointment with the APAC president's handling of the matter. 

He wrote:

"From your response it is clear that APAC is only capable of operating on half-truths and downright lies just to get cheap publicity from the media. 

"(It) is the lowest (rung of the ladder) that your organisation has nosedived to," he added.

"(I could never) work with APAC; as being unethical and totally irresponsible have never been the aims of achievements of my (character), work and mission," concluded Thanasayan.

Write to us. Tell us what you think. Was APAC right in handling the issue? Does APAC really represent all persons in PJ? What about the disabled? Does being disabled give one the right to do what one likes including gatecrash an event? Was it fair to bash the MBPJ when it seems to be the only council that is doing its best for the disabled?

PET+BLOGSPOT reserves the right to edit comments or to not print them. Please be polite and constructive in what you say. Thank you!  

Click HERE for a previous story on the disability seminar.

The Malay Mail report:

All Petaling Jaya Residents Association Coalition

Disabled sidelined

Associations cross with council's disregard for forum invites by A. Fuad Paiz

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 11:12:00

PETALING JAYA: Associations for the disabled felt sidelined by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) as they were not invited to a forum yesterday on improving facilities for the group.

The "Real World Challenges and Opportunities for the Disabled" forum was held at Dewan Banquet MBPJ yesterday morning, commemorating World Disabled Day.

All Petaling Jaya Residents Association Coalition and Subcommittee for Elderly and Disabled Residents (APAC-SEDAR) chairman Bathmavathi Krishnan said the council denied them the right to have their say at the forum.

"Why did they not invite us? I was not informed until this morning when the resident association president from my area sent me an email regarding the forum. Only then did I drive to the venue."
Anthony Siva Balan
She claimed the council had not invited disabled folk to avoid them "bashing" ordinary folk at the forum.
PJ councilor Anthony Siva Balan (pic), also the event organiser, brushed off Bathmavathi's allegations as a misunderstanding.

"Previously, MBPJ had organised a similar event for them. I would like to clarify this forum was only targeting able bodies to persuade them to join the council's efforts to provide the best amenities for the disabled."
He assured representatives of disabled people had been invited to the forum.

Bathmavathi, however, was unconvinced.

"We are part of residents living in Petaling Jaya. Therefore, they are obligated to invite us to this event. I saw a lot of empty seats. Why couldn't they just fill it with representatives from the the disabled society?"

The Malay Mail also found attendance at the forum was disappointing.

Echoing Bathmavanthi's statement, Damai Disabled Persons Association of Selangor and Wilayah  Persekutuan Malaysia (Damai) president V. Murugeswaran hoped the council would not repeat the mistake in future.

"It is a good idea to bring in the able-bodied to exchange ideas but the council should have known that we are the major players. It must keep us informed of these kind of events so we can give our input."

PET+BLOGSPOT is the ONLINE BLOG of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association or Petpositive. Our stories are CURRENT, ACCURATE and RELIABLE. We offer both local and foreign news on animals, disability and the elderly. PET+BLOGSPOT was first established in October 2007. Our hits since then are now 100,000 and ever increasing! PET+BLOGSPOT is updated daily. Kindly note that views expressed in this PET+BLOGSPOT are not necessarily those of PETPOSITIVE. You may also visit our Webpage by browsing: You can also find us in Facebook under PETPOSITIVE EMPOWERMENT. Please sign up as a FOLLOWER of this Blog if you haven't done so already in order to show us your kind support for our work. Thank you!


Tan Poh Lin said...

APAC claims to represent 600,000 residents of Petaling Jaya.

This itself is a lie and a joke!

These guys do not believe in dialogue.

They are the "elite group" with no sense of direction.

Always misleading and never speak the truth. Always after MBPJ.

Everyone in MBPJ is corrupt except APAC.

One of them is now an ADUN.

The present one could follow suit.

Reject them. Let's build a better PJ without them!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for exposing the irregularities of NGOs.

What happened at MBPJ's seminar was shameful.

Some people in wheelchairs think that the world owes them everything.

I was there at your seminar.

The infamous four were rude not only to the speakers but to all of us as participants at the event.

They dominated the discussions with their nonsense of complaints against disabled carparks, toilets and what not.

As an able-bodied participant who wanted to get a chance to talk, it was us who got sidelined by these irresponsible disabled bad hats!

Thank you once again for highlighting this even though you are disabled yourself.

Keep up your good work in MBPJ Mr Thanasayan!

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Section 19. APAC? Who are they?

Anonymous said...

I was invited for this seminar and believe its topic were more for the abled rather than the disabled.
These 4 individuals came to cause a ruckus and not contribute. Really shameful and very iresponsible.
BTW, who is APAC? Who do they represent?

Anonymous said...

Hi....I was there at the seminar and I am a resident of PJ. APAC have misrepresented themselves at the seminar.

Well done Mr Councillor for bringing this matter out.

Anonymous said...

APAC has tendency to misrepresent. Not sure what is their motive?

Chong Tuck Meng said...

When I read the article on the rep of APAC's attacks on MBPJ and Anthony in the newspaper, I was very angry.

Firstly, I want to ask Bathmavathi Krishnan, ask yourself why you were not invited?

It must be some reason why you are not invited personally.

According to APAC Mr Tung as president was was invited.

Even though I was not a resident of PJ, but I was invited by Anthony.

I was invited because Anthony wanted me to have the experience of organising such seminars so that I can spread its good works to Bentong, Pahang.

Anyhow I regretted for not attending the seminar.

When a person who does not have support from the various OKU like you that is why you are not invited.

I have known Bathma very long. She even try to obstruct me from leading my PERWIRA K9 disabled group at one time.

Who will ever respect you again when you always fight and disgrace your own commrades?

Please don't do that again for the betterment of OKU communities.

Don't look for opportunities to get yourself highlighted. Just concentrate and do the good work for OKU.

I have every respect for Anthony.

He may be a little strict but he always hold on to his principles.

You should be proud of his accomplishments for the OKU in PJ.

Will write more soon.

Zulkifly Sulong said...

Thank you Anthony for your expose. Wow! The nerve of this quadruple wheelchair persons!

Come to an MBPJ seminar and eat the hosts food free and then run them down afterward!

Reminds me about a great saying by author Mark Twain, "When you pick up a starving dog and feed it, it will not bite you - THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DOG AND A HUMAN BEING!"

Shame on APAC!

Keep those wheels rolling - and exposing!

Abel Chong said...

My dear friend Ant, our only oku MPPJ Counsellor. Please continue your good work we are always behind you.

Here is my message for APAC and other oku ngos.

We are from the same disabled commuities. We must first be united before we can fight for the betterment of our lives.

If Ant was given the opportunity to be the counsellor for MPPJ we should support him. Being appointed to be a local counsellor in itself a victory of accomplishment for the disabled communities. We should give him support and ideas to be more effective. This position is for serving the disabled and their needs. Not for play-play.

Why do you attack him openly in the media ? It only bring about disgrace the our communities.
If you are not selected to be a counsellor then look for other opportunity to serve the oku. they are so many oku issues to be address. dont get jealous and start to destroy other. It is more of a personal attack.
Stop all these nonsence and continue to serve the oku.
Leave MPPJ issues to our Bro Ant to help.

Ant dont be disheartened. When I said we supported you, that means all my members from:
PERWIRA K9 - 500 members
BUDI PENYAYANG - 100 members
supporting you all the way.
Keep on the good works.

Founder Advisor
for both the above mentioned associations.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony (if I may call you that?),

You do not know me but I know about you through your Star column and other newspapers.

I was invited to your seminar as an able-bodied professional.

I saw all what had happened by those good-for-nothing foursome.

If I had my way, I would have thrown all of them out in their wheelchairs, nuts and bolts included for trying to disrupt the discussions with their utter nonsense.

Pay no attention to them. Keep up your good work.

I learnt so much from the speakers that day.

Aneel David Kannabhiran said...

If it was made clear to the APAC President that the meeting was "closed door" and as such he was invited as the sole representative of APAC, then any other APAC members who wished to attend would need to get the permission of the organisers, either by making a request personally or via the President.

The sub-committee member and cohorts in their public display of belligerence has sullied the name of APAC, and regardless if she acted on her own or on behalf of APAC, should be reprimanded by the President and/or other Office Bearers or else they will be seen as tacitly condoning such belligerence.

APAC cannot simply wash their hands of their sub-committee members actions and behaviour at public forums as such members are seen to represent APAC.

As such, it would be proper and noble for APAC to issue an apology.

APAC members should also be reminded of this episode at the next APAC elections.

MBPJ should also ensure every forum organised employs a Moderator to advise the more vocal participants to maintain tact and decorum while addressing the forum.