Free Rapid bus, rail rides for disabled this weekend

PUTRAJAYA, 3 Dec 2019: 

In conjunction with the 2019 National Disability Day, a person with disabilities – together with a companion – will be given fare exemptions on Dec 7 and 8, when using transportation services operated by Prasarana Malaysia Bhd.

In making this announcement at a meet-and-greet session here today, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the fare exemption would be for MRT, monorail and LRT services.

“To enjoy the free rides, commuters with disabilities will just have to produce their disability identification card as verification,“ the Women, Family and Community Development minister said in her speech read out by her deputy Hannah Yeoh at the launch of the programme.

Dr Wan Azizah is on a working visit to the East Coast to meet flood evacuees seeking shelter at flood relief centres. She said Prasarana has provided incentives for people with disabilities as those registered and have a concession card are given discounts of up to 50% when using transportation facilities provided by Prasarana.

Dr Wan Azizah added that as at June 2019, records show 549,554 persons with disabilities have registered with the Department of Social Welfare.

“We hope more will register with the department and will subsequently participate in programmes which suit their needs.”

Yeoh, when met after the launch, said in conjunction with the National Disability Day this year, persons with disabilities could enter the National Museum and National Art Gallery for free as well as enjoy a 20% discount on accommodation at Hotel Seri Malaysia from today until Dec 8.

“They will also have free access to the National Science Centre indefinitely.”

Yeoh added that next year, cards for the disabled could be issued in a much shorter time of within 30 days as the Ministry would be getting an allocation to acquire another card printing machine for every state.

Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah said the ministry had set up a special project team (SPT) to review, recommend changes and prepare a draft for amendments to the Persons With Disabilities Act 2008 in efforts to empower the group.

She said the SPT comprising 25 members from various ministries and government departments, professional bodies and non-governmental organisations also included academicians and individuals with knowledge and experience working with the disabled.

Dr Wan Azizah said the team would convene from Jan 2020 and had six months to come up with a comprehensive draft on amendments to the Persons With Disabilities Act and its first reading before the Dewan rakyat has been targeted to be in Dec 2020.

Separately, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has good news for OKU in conjunction with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebration today.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo in a statement here announced that MYNIC, an agency under the ministry and the official registrar of the .my Internet domain in Malaysia, will be giving a discount of 50% – from RM120 to RM60 – to OKU from Jan 1 for new registrations with this domain.

He said among the advantages of using the .my domain were that searching for websites by customers will be easier and faster, and website security would be more assured – thus boosting confidence of customers.

“This initiative will encourage the OKU group to increase their online activities so that they can benefit from the digital economy now.”

With the announcement of this special discount, he said it would ensure no group is left behind the global digital revolution and the Industrial Revolution 4.0 where use of various technological applications will become part of daily life of society.

“This initiative shows the continued commitment of the government to provide the best to the people, especially those who need assistance,” he said, adding that MYNIC plays a key role in driving the digital economy and that the use of the .my domain would give a positive impact for businesses conducted online.

Further information on the discount can be obtained from Dec 5 at the MYNIC website at www.mynic.my or by calling its Customer Care Hotline 1-300-88-7277 .

Gobind said the initiative is also in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and the theme for this year’s International Day of People with Disablities which is ‘Penyertaan OKU: Tiada Yang Tertinggal Dalam Agenda Pembangunan 2030’ (OKU Participation: No one is left behind in the Development Agenda 2030) .

“KKMM (the ministry) is also always striving to empower the rakyat (people) especially in ensuring all layers of society have access to the Internet because it is a basic amenity now.”

The minister further said that in June this year, he had asked telecommunication providers to consider giving a discount on broadband service to the OKU and was happy to note it resulted in discounts of between RM10 and RM15 for certain smartphone prepaid and post-paid packages.

Meanwhile, five public universities have set up the Disability Services Unit under the OKU Inclusion Policy launched by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in early September.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Technologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) had set up the unit and this would be followed by other institutes of higher education in the near future.

“We will make sure that we lay a strong and solid foundation for the betterment of the future for the disabled at the institutes of higher learning,” he said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said this in reply to a supplementary question from S. Kesavan (PH-Sungai Siput) who wanted to know about MoE initiatives for the disabled to ease their entry into the university and to look after the welfare of the group.

Maszlee previously reported that all 20 public universities across the country must implement the Disability Inclusive Policy and set up a Disability Services Unit beginning with the 2019/2020 student intake.

The guidelines were aimed doing away with the segregation of OKU students from other students

Maszlee also said 466 students with disabilities were offered places of study at public universities for the 2019/2020 intake out of 547 applicants.

– Bernama