Friday, February 25, 2011

Blatant Act Of Discrimination, Says MBPJ Councillor Anthony Thanasayan

Friday February 25, 2011

Butchers and councillors want to dislodge paraplegic trader


BUTCHERS and fishmongers at the Taman Megah Market, in cahoots with some heartless councillors, are hounding paraplegic trader Seak Nee, 39 and four others to give up their trading spots and move to the back.
Seak Nee, whose stall is just next to the specially designed ramp for the disabled, along with four other traders suffering from poor health who also occupy the front row, are facing undue pressure to give up their trading spots.

The big time traders with the insidious support of some councillors are said to be exerting pressure on these unfortunate traders so they can have the premium lots.
Giving support: Seak Nee (in pink track suit pants), Francis on her left and other well wishers stop to chat with Khoo (right) near the Taman Megah market after a press conference to highlight Seak Nee’s plight.

The traders managed to get the licensing department to change four of the traders’ lot numbers when their licences came up for renewal.

But Seak Lee, paralysed from waist downwards since birth, is fighting back despite being attacked on all fronts, even from people close to her, with telephone calls and nasty remarks.

“I make something like RM700 to RM800 monthly selling frozen foodstuffs and from that I have to pay RM330 for my room rent and this trading sport is all I have,” said Seak, who wheels herself some 15 minutes daily back and forth to the market.

Although her parents are staying in Old Klang Road, she wants to be independent and spent the last six years selling frozen food stuffs in front of the market in a makeshit kiosk until the local residents association chairman Francis Lee and other well-wishers moved the council to get her a proper tradering lot.
After nearly a year she is facing pressure from other traders.

“Many times the traders there have approached me to move to the back portion of the market and offered to foot the renovation and other enhancement to the kiosk,” Seak Nee told StarMetro recently.

One of the prime movers of the protest is Francis Siva, the president of Independent Living and Training Centre (ICTC), a non-governmental organisation, which trains the disabled to be self-sufficient.
“We want the council to step in and tell off the traders who are trying to dislodge them.”

Blaming councillor Tiew Way Keng, the DAP representative for Seak Nee’s plight for pandering to the demands of the well-to-do traders and forsaking Seak Nee’s needs, Francis said the councillor should be in the forefront of her plight.

“She knows about Seak Nee’s plight and she did nothing to protect her interest,” he said, adding that MBPJ was kind enough to specially construct the kiosks, ramp and other handicap-friendly amenities.

Chairman of the MBPJ Technical Committee on Disabilities T. Anthony, who is also an MBPJ councillor said it is a blatant act of discrimination.

He said he has forwarded Seak Nee’s letter to deputy mayor Puasa Md Taib and have asked MBPJ to conduct a full investigation into her claim of harassment by the relevant councillor and traders.

Former councillor and one time Kampung Tunku State assemblyman Khoo Ooi Seng who stopped by to see the commotion was visibly upset after listening to Seak Nee’s plight.

“I agree there are some shortcomings in the BN but we never stole from the handicap,” said the MCA member.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I frequent Taman Megah Market every week. The allocation plan is weird.

You have the vege sellers with the dripping wet produce centrally placed in a narrow aisle facing the fruit stalls. These sellers carry their wet produce from vans parked along the road often times in a day, wetting the floors even outside their aisles.

Then the egg, condiments and seller with disabilities (who's in the news lately) along the periphery, facing the road, given a wide berth as they don't have stalls opposite them.

Customers needing greens are a harrased lot. We are pushing and shoving to buy what we need in that oh so, narrow aisle, with slippery floors, mind you. Market baskets bumpimg, stepping on each other's foot, struggling to buy what we need as quick as we can to get back home to our frantic life. People might have fallen or hurt themselves in the process.

On th other hand, customers needing eggs and condiments don't have this problem.

Let me tell you, my groceries somedays require me going to both these areas. I will not shun either one just because they are not ideally placed. The reality is most people eat vege eveyday and so these stalls are crowded. And you won't need to purchase eggs or condiments everyday.

But it would more sense, if they trade places and give us a breather from our oh so, harassed lifestyle. And it has nothing to do with infringing the rights of the abled or people with disabilities, but more to do better planning and thinking ahead before giving the allotments.


W H Chaandani