KUALA LUMPUR: People with disabilities should be given the chance to empower themselves, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.
The prime minister said the disabled should be helped, not through sympathy, but through opportunities to live their lives with dignity.
"The disabled have been given special gifts by God. We should not marginalise them," he said when launching Faresh Motor (M) Sdn Bhd, Perodua's first disabled-friendly showroom yesterday.
He said productive welfare policies had been put in place to ensure the disabled were given equal employment and business opportunities, in both government and corporate bodies.
The showroom was inspired after its owner, Ahmad Faresh Ahmad Zahid, who is a polio victim with underdeveloped legs, grew fed up with the lack of proper facilities at car showrooms and workshops.
Faresh, 42, who has been involved in car sales for 20 years, said disabled customers needed basic facilities such as ramps, bathrooms and prayer rooms.
"Once, a disabled car buyer was forced to conduct his purchase outside the showroom because there was no way for him to enter."
Faresh said the showroom would offer advice to disabled buyers on how to customise their vehicles.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Najib, in his message in conjunction with National Anti Drugs Day 2012, said caring volunteers could help fight drug abuse.
This was being put into action by the 1Malaysia Squad, a voluntary movement with 252,128 members.