Attitude towards the disabled: Stop abusing their privileges

I REFER to “Utterly selfish” (New Sunday Times, April 12). I would like to thank NST for highlighting this important issue on the front page, and carrying the stories on pages 12 and 13.

The misuse of facilities for the disabled continues unabated because there is no enforcement, and offenders always seem to get away without punishment.

Then again, those who are disabled do not always have documents proving their disability.

Displaying a blue “handicapped” sticker is not proof that one is disabled.

Having helped many of my soldiers who had disabilities, the procedure is to get application forms from the Welfare Department and have them attested to by a specialist doctor.

With that, the Welfare Department will issue an appropriate identity card. This card should be the only officially recognised document of a disabled person to entitle him to disability privileges.

Every parking bay for the disabled should have security guards to ensure that only card holders are allowed to park.

A quick check will show that parking bays for the disabled at the main entrance of the National Heart Institute are always hogged by VIPs.

There are nine parking bays for the disabled at Hospital Selayang, and most of the time, they are taken up by able-bodied people.

Where I live, there is one parking bay for the disabled at the entrance to the shop at a Petronas station. It is used exclusively by the owner of the petrol station to park her luxury car.

I asked the security guard why the owner’s car was parked in a space meant for a disabled person, and he replied: “Ini kereta, boss punya” (This car belongs to my boss).

Obviously, Petronas, which has been alerted, does not have customer service in its best interest, as no action has been taken.

Unless the authorities take action against those who are selfish and misuse such facilities, this problem will not go away any time soon.

Lieutenant-Colonel (Rtd) Mohd Idris bin Hassan, Kuala Lumpur