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Show of support for disabled councillor

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IN DEFENCE: NGOs say Anthony Sivabalan Thanasayan has contributed to the welfare of the disabled

SHAH ALAM: A GROUP of non-governmental organisations and residents' associations are urging the state government to reappoint Anthony Sivabalan Thanasayan as a Petaling Jaya   councillor.    

Independent Living and Training Centre president Francis Siva, who represented the group, submitted a memorandum  in support of the disabled councillor  to the state authorities on Monday.

 He handed the letter to  state government media officer Tuan Nazuri Tuan Ismail  as Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was in Parliament.

Nazuri said he would forward the letter to the MB's office.

 "We appeal to the state government to reinstate Anthony and not to give in to  parties who want him out, based on the councillor's experience and contribution to the disabled community,  in PJ and Selangor.

 "Let him serve for another term and finish what he  started, before deciding on his future," he added.

 He said the fact that the PJ City Council had won special awards for disabled-friendly facilities from the Housing and Local Government Ministry and the state government  was an indication of the weight of Anthony's contribution.

  The letter was endorsed the Independent Living and Training Centre, Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association, Persatuan Warga Istimewa & Rehabilitasi Anggota K9, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Perwira K9 Malaysia, Community Services for the Deaf, Dyslexia Association of Malaysia and other NGOs.

 Also present were centre secretary Gurdip Kaur, Malaysian Association for the Blind's Cyber Club chairman Yam Tong Woo, Section 6 Rukun Tetangga chairman Rajesh Mansukhlal, animal activist Pamela Lim and Friends of Kota Damansara chairman Jeffrey Phang.

 This  follows a protest last week by a group who said the wheelchair-bound Anthony was not fit to be a councillor.

 It was reported that the swearing-in of PJ councillors was postponed as there was disagreement over the list of candidates.

 Sources said the postponement was due to the retraction of three names -- Anthony, Harmony Ghani Ismail and Tang Fuie Koh.

 "The Petaling Jaya City Council has yet to receive a directive on the matter.

"It will hold its swearing-in ceremony once everything is sorted out," said the source.

 Two NGOs, Warga OKU PJ and Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better, had protested against Anthony's reappointment.

They claimed that he had "discredited their efforts for animal welfare and that he had interfered in canine welfare advocacy work, propagation of euthanasia and attempts of commercialising dog catching in Selangor".

Francis Siva (seated, fourth from left) and other NGO representatives at the Selangor state government office in Shah Alam. Pic by Azhar Ramli


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