Sunday, November 1, 2009

Include disabled in budget's public transport plans


V Murugeswaran
Oct 27, 09
4:28pmI refer to the Malaysiakini report PM slashes spending in Budget 2010.

The 2010 budget announced by the prime minister was a positive one for all Malaysians and was in line with the country's current vision of a '1Malaysia'. The budget allocated RM9 billion to finance infrastructure projects.

The said allocation should be utilised in the best possible manner ie, by making the existing public transportation system and public amenities accessible for the disabled community in this country.

The current condition of our public transportation system, built environment and public amenities are largely inaccessible to the disabled community. In order to ensure that the disabled people in Malaysia can feel and truly appreciate the government's '1Malaysia' mission, this has to be changed.

I also notice that there were allocations to acquire 35 LRT coaches and EMU trains. The relevant authority should take into consideration the current scenario of the LRT and train services (with the exception of the Kelana Jaya LRT line) which are inaccessible to the disabled community before proceeding to acquire more trains.

The new purchases should be planned carefully so that they too will cater for the disabled group as well.

Another interesting aspect of 2010 budget is the establishment of the Public Land Transport Commission next year. This is indeed a very good move by the government to ensure there is an authority to monitor and enforce a service standard for urban public transport.

The establishment of the said commission is long awaited by many Malaysians especially the disabled community.

I am of the view that to ensure the commission delivers effectively, there should be a representative from the disabled community to provide valuable ideas and input with regards to accessible transportation.

'1Malaysia, people first and performance now' will only materialise when each and every Malaysian is treated equally.

Let us hope the 2010 budget will bring positive changes to the current condition of the disabled community in this country.

The writer is president, Damai Disabled Persons Association of Selangor and Wilayah Perseketuan.

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