MEETING NEEDS: Higher allocation needed to train and secure jobs for visually impaired and handicapped people
KUALA LUMPUR: THE disabled community hopes 2013 Budget will see more funds to meet their needs.
Malaysian Association for the Blind president Datuk Dr Abdullah Malim Baginda said there should be more allocations provided for the training of the disabled community.
"We need more funds to conduct training. The association is trying to increase and improve courses for the blind," he said.
He added that the budget should also include increasing the opportunities accorded for a trained blind person's chances for employment.
"There is no point in training them if there are no jobs.
"The government has allocated a quota of one per cent for the disabled in the civil service.
"We hope that this quota will be fulfilled," he said.
Selangor Cheshire Home president Datin Khatijah Suleiman said society needed more funds to conduct programmes for the disabled.
"We create an environment for the disabled to live an empowered life.
"We provide skills training, rehabilitation programmes and such.
"For that, we need enough funds to sustain and to expand our services."
Khatijah added that partnership between non-governmental organisations and government agencies should also be emphasised in the 2013 Budget.
Selangor and Federal Territory Association for the mentally handicapped general manager T. Kamaraj said that the RM300 allocation for the disabled by the Welfare Department should be reviewed.
"With the rising cost of living, RM300 is not sufficient.
"Even the price of basic amenities such as food and transport, has increased," he said.
Echoing Kamaraj's sentiments, Damai Disabled Persons Association of Selangor and Federal Territory vice-president M. Manoharan said the allocation for the disabled should be increased.
"Many disabled persons are not able to work and the ones who are working will have to take public transport and be driven around.
"The allocation is not sufficient to survive in the current economy."
He added that there had been a lot of improvements in the public transport system, but more had to be done.
"Public transport has been made disabled-friendly in main cities, but not in smaller towns.
"Maybe the 2013 Budget could look into this.
"Buildings, too, should be more accessible to the disabled."
The 2013 Budget will be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Sept 28.