Un-Handicap Them, Mobilize Them, Unstigmatize Them

I was having my usual cuppa tea this morning, and came across a person on a wheelchair. I watched him struggle as he tried to move his wheelchair to the coffee house. My other half and I would have offered our help if it’s not because I saw his escort, a little girl who is probably his relative or daughter helped him to push the wheelchair and settle down. I was touched by the display of filial piety.

Seeing that old man maneuvering around in his wheelchair amused me to no end, and got me wondering on how he cope with his daily chores. As I took a sip of my tea, I tried to imagine myself being handicapped like him, but I couldn’t get a good vision on how I lead my life because the things that I imagined are not pleasant.

I could not imagine being handicapped in any ways, because in Malaysia, handicaps are automatically stigmatized that they are ‘useless’, not worth to hire as an employee because they are immobilized in many ways. They are automatically labeled as not efficient and dumb by many employer despite of their great achievement in the field of academic. They are not given easy chance to earn their living, and yet they are expected not to make a fuss out of it. People prefer to give chance to those who are air headed, sexy and yet could not figure out on how to operate a simple machine for 9-5 office job instead of hiring a handicap who is capable of clearing piles and loads of paperwork in office effectively.

The handicaps and disabled are generally expected to be financially independent by the society, but pray tell, how are they supposed to be financially independent when they are not given much chance to earn a living? Are they expected to belong to a wealthy family who can support them financially and emotionally? Or are they expected to go on the street, begging for money for a meal or two? I’m well aware that a lot of handicaps excelled in many fields, and yet, their achievements and skills could not be contributed because of the harsh perception on them.

Honestly, if I owned a company and needs an effective employee to help me with office work, I’ll chose a disabled individual if indeed proven that the person is capable of doing office work any day over a normal person who is a complete bloke and hopeless, even after intensive training is given. It’s a bonus too that the handicaps are usually very loyal to your company and appreciate their job very well due to the lack of chance given to them.

Even education are not made easy for people on wheelchair, as tertiary education classes are not situated on ground floors, and again, the lack of facilities for handicap students in educational institute. It’s not that they are not smart. In fact, some of them are even smarter and definitely more competitive than the normal people who tends to take things for granted. Again and again they are branded as useless just because the lack of facilities provided.

Malaysia does not facilitate handicaps and disabled well, that’s a fact that could not be change anytime soon, because Malaysian in general hardly give a thought about their difficulties. The government included. *snicker* Malaysian government are turning blind eyes towards the welfare of the disable, and obviously someone ought to tell those cabinet creeps to stop talking about ‘ME, ME, ME, IT’S ALL ABOUT ME‘ and start improving the lives of the handicap, disabled and the poor instead.

Let me ask you, how many shopping complexes are handicaps friendly? Racks that placed goods are usually designed for normal people, and placed at heights that is unreachable by people on the wheelchair. They have no choice but to ask for assistance when they shop for goods that they could not reach.

They are indeed incapable of running errands effectively the way normal people do, this I don’t deny. But to be fair, this is because the facilities provided in most shopping complexes are not handicap and disabled friendly. They need to depend on others to get their chores done. They are actually being immobilized by the lack of facilities, and yet people are labeling them useless. This is definitely injustice. It’s unfair to accuse them for being dependent on others because of the facilities that the normal people failed to provide them with.

Even answering nature’s call is a problem to them when they are outside. It’s a common knowledge that a lot of premise failed to provide a handicap stall. They are somehow forced to coup up at home simply because their home is more handicap friendly and more convenient for them, and yet, the society accused them for not socializing and being negative. Maybe they are negative in some ways if they lost their mobility due to sickness or accidents, but when they try to move on and be positive about their weakness, the environment and the society simply push them back down.

How many traffic lights includes alarm in order to assist the ones who are visually handicapped to cross the road? One may as them to use the pedestrian walkover instead, but how many are there out there? The blind, as you all probably know depends on the sense of noise and touch very much to get them around, but things are not made easier for them too.

Communication between the deaf and vocally disabled are not made easy too, because of the refusal of the normal to learn sign language. Our society simply are not interested in mingling with them, hence the refusal to learn their language. As parents, we prefer to let our children learn foreign and exotic language instead of learning simple sign language, why is this thing happening? Why are we outcasting the disable when they too are God’s creation? We force them to mingle around with their own kind instead of being closer to them and understanding their difficulties.

The society has made their lives harder by not providing proper facilities to them and made them live like an outcast by stigmatizing them. Don’t you guys think it’s time to put a stop to their misery? We may not have the power to change their lives overnight by turning our country into a handicap paradise by providing them the facilities, but we definitely start to make their lives easier by not stigmatizing and labeling them as useless creature. Start giving them a chance and mix around with them when they approach us, because in truth they are human, just like us.

Cleffairy: We’ll never know if one day misfortune are to befall us and takes away one of our senses. I know and convinced that I would not like to live like an outcast I were to be blind, deaf, mute or forced to move around on the wheelchair. Would you like to live like an outcast if such misfortune were to befall you?

PS: After writing this post, it reminds me to a certain asshole known as Ech3lon who had strongly voiced out his opinions against allocating more facilities for the disabled last month by saying “Why should we suffer and waste money building stuff for people who are ‘minority’ and useless to boot?”

Well, I do hope God damned you to live as a disable for a few days, and I’ll be looking forward to hear you complain your ass out. But then again, why would I be looking forward to your complains then, because you are strongly supporting censorship and against people who are voicing up their opinions and discomfort? If you are reading this and wanted to comment, would you like me to censor your words and unapproved your comment? I think you’ll enjoy being ‘shut up’. *snicker*

12 comments

  1. Calvin says:

    after reading your post, it reminded me of posting about the para-lympics.
    i cant even find one channel on teli that broadcasted the event, and im very dissapointed. if they, the govt said that theyre doing all they can to support the handicapped, they must be joking.

    i myself could not imagine being paralysed or handicapped, stucked in a wheel chair or such. intolerable. and clef, you are right. to the eyes of the public, they are a sore nuisance, a pain in the ass. if only we try to imagine ourselves in their position……its so sad…..very sad.

    and really, this Ech3lon fler said that….$$%%^&!!!@ and that’s just for starters, asshole!!!! gotto calm down, calm down….ahem, as a christian, i should not have done that. %%&$!!!@ damn, here i go again.

    i’ll pray for you mr Ech3lon….so that God may open your eyes and soften your heart so that you may feel what its like to be disabled. i pray that God show you that to curse and look down on these people are unjust. they are also God’s children, made in His image…..

  2. cleffairy says:

    Calvin, yalorr… i wanted to watch Paralympics too, but cannot find any bloody channel that broadcast it. I was asking my hubby about it after the Olympic closing ceremony…cuz if I’m not mistaken, it’s held after Olympic. If one wants to applaud on great sportsmanship and fighting spirit, one should applad the Paralypic athletes. They are true heroes. I admire their strength.
    😀

    Same like you, it’s very hard for me to imagine being handicap… I’m not sure if I’ll have the will and strong enough to move on. But I know as hell, apart from my family members, the people in the society would give me a hard time.

    *sigh* That ech3lon feller, pissed me off lor. I was merely saying that government should allocate some amount of $$ in the budget to improvise facilities for handicap. That jerk told me off that way. Summore can add that the handicaps just know how to complain, complain complain and duno how to contribute. Damn lorr. Walao…real fucker, I must say.

    We are God’s children,we are beautiful because we’re created in his image. It’s sad to see there are individuals who snicker at the disabled when in the yes of God, the only thing that differentiate all of us is our deeds.
    🙁

  3. Calvin says:

    not only the paralympics lah clef. on our very own soil, the sports council dont even give a hoot on our disabled sportsmen & sportswomen. they should be highlighted on par, if not even higher than the others for their perseverence and hardships to represent our country.

    aiya, dun say clef. many families here oso looked down on disabled parent/child. how many can tolerate. i think, it is God’s way of challenging us. teaching us to rely more upon Him, have more faith…then things may become easier.

    why i suddenly sound like a pastor ah? 😛

  4. fergie says:

    Wah .. I thought you said you very boh eng today .. got time to post? I once commented on Kerp’s blog that I don’t much like the word “disabled” but forget what’s the other word we can use lah .. “kurang ….something”? Aiya .. my brain’s as dry as the “sotong’s” hahahaha. Ya la .. you sound like a preacher .. so holy .. you????? In Europe so handicapped-friendly .. so nice seeing oldies, etc being independent and mobile. Here we appeal til our last breath oso no-one bothers. Mentality la .. can never change .. same like “Penang” drivers .. hahahaha .. very kiasu

  5. KevinP says:

    I was chatting with this uncle.. retired uncle some time back… he related to me this story.. I do not know how far true…

    Anwar went into see Dr. M… (before he sodmomized ppl and got himself thrown to jail then) he told Dr. M to increase the pensions of retirees by 30% so as to ensure that they cope with rising cost of living and he proposed sort of an allowance for disabled who are unemployed. I was also told that Dr. M retorted… that these ppl are all a burden to the country now.. why must we spend a sen more for them….

    I do not know how true the story was, but it was told to me by a very senior retired govt officer who had worked in the PM’s department.. who was there on that day when the two had a heated argument over the matter. I am still finding it hard to believe that Anwar did propose something humane.. during his time in power but I also know the old man is capable of such inhumane statements… :).

    Back to the topic.

    All that you have lamented could have been avoided to a certain extent really if the school teaches the student well way long long ago so that parents today are not so arrogant and ignorant and that they can also teach their kids to have more compassion to the less fortunate. Unfortunately, the Govt screwed the education system to teach moral only to the non-Muslims while religion to the Muslims… religion sadly does not equate to moral although a deeper understanding of religion may inculcate better morals but is it manifested today in our society?

    Even then, look at who teaches moral and whether the teacher adhere to what he/she teaches? Monkey see.. monkey do…

  6. Celine says:

    You know it is really difficult for those who are physically disable.

    Most of the times it is not the physical part that is tough for them, but the mental parts. They are mentally sensitive. Sometimes when you look at them just like that, they will feel that they are the odd one in the society and tend to be emotionally down.

    But I really respect those who can still survive at their own hands and legs. Once I have been to a call center, and I saw this paralyzed lady sitting at the wheelchair happily chatting with each other. She was a telemarketer in the company and she earns like 3k++ every month through the phone.

    After that when I was about to leave, I saw here taking lift down to the ground floor. Honestly, she made herself so much like a normal person. She doesn’t care how people look at her. When she is in the crowd, some might think she is just useless but at least she earns herself a living.

    I respect them so much!!

    p.s: Btw, I enjoy ur blog and so I’ve linked u up! Cheers!

  7. Garfield says:

    to see how much that ech3lon can piss u off, u can go to that Kao Sai CiBai chat box to try a few minutes chat with him and his type of ppl there, u will be damn pissed of with them and they thought they r the smartest in whole Malaysia, damn them for think they are elite and their inhuman behavior.

    by the way, i am so pissed with Malaysia’s community nowadays. when they see handicap ppl, they dun even care to help them when these handicap ppl need help. if dun help also still ok lah, but at least dun take advantage and rebut the seat on the bus or LRT lar! those handicap ppl having priority on those seat on the bus and lrt, not for those who rebut the seat and sleep or play handphone in the bus or lrt! they should give those seat to old ppl. pregnant women and these handicap ppl, not giving their seat to those chick that have big boobs or big ass!

    i remember once when i take bus long time ago, an old lady got on to a bus, and have no place to seat, she stand in front of a young man, but that young man pretend didn’t see her and turn away to look at another side. then i stand up and wanted to ask that old last to take my seat. u know wat happened after that? another ass hole straight take my seat even b4 i ask that lady to take my seat! i told him to stand up and tell him i leave the seat bcoz i wanted to give my seat to that old lady, and he just said, “u stand up already, and i sit down already, now the seat is mine 1 lar.” then that old lady told me “never mind, its ok”. when reach the next station, a chick got up to the bus and have no place to seat, guess wat happen? that ass hole that taken my seat offer his seat to that big boob chick. damn that feller really!

    after reach the next station, i quickly block 1 seat and ask that old lady to take the seat, she just smile and say thanks. although it is just a simple “thanks” but it makes me feel that i did my responsibility. and surprisingly, those ass hole who r in the bus looking at me as i am stupid to offer my seat to old people, dammit! wtf is going on with Malaysian’s moral? They get good result in moral in school, but they cannot do as wat they learn in that subject ar? fuck them lar!

    i also very pissed off with those who help ppl in needs just for fame. they showed everyone that they are doing charity, but they asked the media to show it to the public and say they are good, if u really want to do charity, just keep ur mouth shut lar, y must ask the media to tell everyone that u r doing charity? izzit u afraid that the gov dunno u do charity and dun approve ur tax exemption izzit? if u do charity by donate money or anything, just keep quite and, then ppl will be more thankful to u!

    and for those facilities developer such as those developers for business center and shopping complex who built facilities to those handicap such as wheel chair lane, fuck u also! if u going to build a facilities like this, build properly! dun built it just for people to see, make sure those wheel chair lane is really able for wheel chair to use! u guys build the wheel chair lane until so short and so senget, want to kill ppl who using wheel chair ar? u guys build the blind ppl mark on these lane, but until cannot really sense much using the tongkat, then better dun build lar!
    so to these developers, fuck u lar! built these facilities just to skip tax, never really think about these handicap ppl really need to use these facilities!

    and to NTV7, bravo to u guys! the Finding Angels show with this new host is really doing a good job for helping people and get more ppl to help these ppl who in needs. And i am very happy that NTV7 had employed the newsreader who lost her leg after an accident. This newsreader is a great asset for NTV7. u guys really did a good job, u guys cover all race without marginalize any race.

    and for TV3, although ur “Bersama Mu” is a good show to help ppl in needs, but i hope that it will cover all races as what NTV7 did. they are ur sister channel, so u as the older brother channel should do something as good as them without specify any race in ur charity show.

    and finally, to esch3lon. like wat i always say to u, i am going to say again.
    Tiu Nei Lou Mou Lar!
    when ppl saying that wat u say is incorrect, u just ban ppl and stop ppl from talking much. and the part that most pissed me off is u not only selfish, u even wanted to take the part that those handicap need.
    u got lanciao already, u still need another lanciao mer?

    and to Menteri Belia & Sukan, please, Malaysia Paralympics athlete needs higher budget for them to improve. our paralympic athlete is not weak compare to those paralympic athlete in other country. make the schedule for them to use bukit jalil for training more, they dun have enough time to training in bukit jalil sport center facilities. or even better, let them training together with our normal athlete in order for them to prove that they are not weak, they can beat these normal athletes if they given a chance. and this will also build up their confidence by letting them feel that they are not treated as disabled, but they are just handicap, not useless. paralympic basket ball players able to score better than our national basket ball team players, even their 3 points shoots is more accurate than our national basket ball team players. please allocate more budget for paralympic.

  8. cleffairy says:

    Calvin, yeah, they do not give a damn to those disabled athletes. Sad to see that they need to go around and get sponsors for whatever event they are hosting, and it’s really not easy for them to get sponsorship too. 🙁
    Seeing the disabled, the disadvantage and the poor, really makes me wonder on how great God is, because through them, we learn more about ourselves. With their existence, we can see whether we are humane or inhumane by the way we treat all these people. Love, faith and hope… through these people, I learn that love should be unconditional even if you have a disable child or family members. With their disability, I learn that we should have more faith in God, and never lost hope even when misfortune are to befall us.

    Fergie...actually really bo eng lah. 🙁 This entry is actually written last night and kept as draft, but did not post it until I reach my office. Hmm, the word, issit kurang upaya? Or ‘insan istimewa’? Who sound like a preacher? me or Calvin? LOL. When i was a child, I live in Coventry, and yeah, their facilities for handicap are way much better than ours. The people who are handicaps over there are mobilize, and very much independent because of the facilities provided for them to use. Not to mention that normal people have different view on their disabilities, though some still stigmatize them. In England, their welfare are really taken care of. The Queen took care of that, and they are given free medical check ups and allowance. Companies are encouraged to hire them, and tax reduction would be given if certain company hired the disabled as employee. But I dun see their welfare being taken care of in Malaysia, what irks me more is the government is doing nothing to change the perception of the society that the disabled are actually not useless, and they should be given equal employment rights as normal people.

    Kevin, back then things are very different. Even though Tun Dr. M was a very harsh and strict man and really no-nonsense kind of person… and sometimes really sputter inhumane things, we should give credit where it’s due. He did not sleep during his entire administration… and he was actually in control of his administration. But the sleepyhead? That feller really hopeless. Not only he make a mess of his administration and make an international joke out of Malaysia, but he also practically screwed up people’s lives with his flip-flop decision.

    On moral and religion, even though religion does preach about living with morality, however, it’s usually hidden and we need to study the book in-depth to get a clear picture of what it’s really trying to say. I wonder what the hell is wrong with the Education system. Whether a student is a Muslim or not, they also should be made to take Moral subject. What’s wrong with teaching both religion and moral to Muslim students? they should not be made to take religious papers only, but they also should be made to take Moral papers. Maybe then some of them would live a life with morality and civics awareness.

    Celine, yes. Their life is difficult, especially in a country like ours, where there are lack facilities for them. 🙁
    To be a disabled, one would require not only physical strength but also great mental endurance too. They are sensitive because they are aware that they are being stigmatize, I can’t really blame them for being sensitive or having a negative thinking towards the normal people…they simply cannot come to our social circle because normal people often stereotype them for being useless and dependent. Sigh…. if only… if only they are better facilitate and mobilize, I think that would lift up their spirit very much!

    Anyway, Celine, thank you for linking me up… maybe you did not notice, but I took the liberty to put your link in my blogroll too., 😀 I hope you don’t mind.

    Garfield… waseh….so loooooong la your comment…. you hang in there for a while. I need to get something into my mouth…hungry liao. I’ll reply to your comment later. I need to spend some time to read everything you wrote and reply to you. (walao… like one article lah!)

  9. roses says:

    my personal humble opinion.
    when i was on a trip 2years back to th Japan, I embarrassed myself by asking what is the yellow line with pebbles-lookalike-protruding everywhere on the road and why is this and that…..and my friend would look at me as if i have got shyt splattered all over my face…

    it’s quite surprising to me that places i know (except malaysia) treats their handicapped citizen right as in given FIRST PRIORITY…so god-damn right that Malaysians who thought being cacat is a burden, ought to be despised and spit on..
    not only their facilities are handicap-conscious but they give extra $$$ to aid these handicapped..

    but on individual mode…how should i react when i see a handicapped struggling in doing normal routine? am i suppose to help? was it out of sympathy or pure kindness? if it’s out of sympathy, will the respective person be offended? (note: some handicapped do not like to be given extra treatment/help)

  10. Vern says:

    I always find it disturbing and disrespectful whenever I hear people jokingly call their friends “O.K.U.” because they think it’s funny. And then there are those who dare not use that kind of term AT ALL because they think it’s very offensive and downgrading. But here’s the thing: it shouldn’t be a term to play around with nor to be afraid of. It’s a term that should help people realize that these people need help, not merely sympathy. Not to mention this country, here in university, even lecturers have commented that it’s not handicap-friendly yet, even though it’s advanced and high-tech and all.

    When I was in Sydney, I was impressed by their public transport. Their buses actually have an automated sliding pavement that reaches to the roadside to allow people on wheelchairs to enter. There is a special section in the bus where the seats are folded up to allow them to park nicely. Here, you’d be lucky to not be trampled over in those sardine-packed buses, even if you’re standing on your own two feet.

    I admire those whose hearts are much bigger than their disabilities. The fact that they rejoice each time they get to a place, or manage to complete a task on their own… to them, it’s living for the moment – something we tend to overlook and forget.

  11. peteformation says:

    I was Head Hunting a while a go and got a bit of a problem in finding a job for a refered candidate for an senior IT position because he is disabled. I got no response from companies although he is a good worker. How sad!

  12. cleffairy says:

    Garfield, I’m not planning to go back to ‘Kao Sai Ci Bai’ as you put it. Not even worth my time chatting with assholes and fuckers who have no respect towards other people. They treat people as if other have no life while the actual fact is they are the ones who have nothing to do but lick someone’s ball over there while pining for girls who are bitchy and have no respect towards herself so that they can get laid. Pathetic, I must say. *shakes head*

    Malaysians, especially young Malaysians lack civic awareness, what you have experienced in the bus is probably similar to mine. I wrote about it in my old post… if you’re interested, you can go and check it out. Pissed me like hell too! http://cleffairy.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/lrt-suckers/
    I learn in a hard way that when you want to give up your seat for people who really deserve it, invitation is the keyword. You must actually make sure that the recipient of the seat is aware that you are giving up the seat for him/her. Otherwise, the possibility that the seat will be taken by assholes are pretty high. 🙁

    When you say facilities developer built those facilities for the disable in a rather half-hearted manner, you’re definitely right about it. Some of those facilities are not well designed to accommodate the disabled. Sadly, they just build it to be tax exempted. 🙁

    On Bersamamu and Finding Angels. I hardly watch Bersamamu cuz it’s not multi-racial. Furthermore…it’s actually another gimmick by a company called Faiza Beras or something like that. Didn’t you realize that every time Bersamamu is on air, ads on Faiza’s product is shown as if other advertisement doesn’t exists? Furthermore, Bersamamu did not do much things but to donate rice and stuff, for the poor family’s short term usage, unlike Finding Angels. They did follow up visits to make sure the families that they helped manage to improve their life in the long run. I notice that Finding Angels help the poor families to generate more income in the long run by helping them to start business and stuff. Excellent way of helping the poor, I must say. I admire the way they help the poor, and I hope one day, I can afford to be like the ‘Angel’s’ too.

    On the lighter part… LOL… that feller Esch3lon, of course he need another banana. What do you think? He claimed that he bedded so many girls…maybe he need another to please the girls he bedded? Hahahaha.

    Rose, lol. Join my club…when I was younger, I also did not know what those protruding stuff on the pedestrian walk is for too. Good thing when I asked that is when i was around 5 years old and my dad explains to me, otherwise, I think I’ll be like you lorr…angmoh look at me as if my face got poop. 😛

    Europe,generally have first class facilities for handicaps and disabled…sadly, Malaysia give priority to normal people…summore subsidy/scholarship allocated more to normal people instead of the handicaps. Celaka.

    Usually, when I see disabled who are struggling in doing normal routine, I will ask “Can you manage” and if they say they can, then I wun help liao. LOL… if they say cannot, den only I will ask them if they need my help.

    Vern, I wish Malaysia can provide such facilities too… but I daresay it wun be happening anytime soon. Err… the government/politicians are occupied with their peek-a-boo, hide and seek as well as Counter Strike.

    Pete, yeah…usually people dunwan to hire disable…cuz they have a mindset that disable are not competitive, not efficent and useless! Sad lah… I really cannot imagine if one day I’m a handicap or something…sure hard to earn a living. 🙁

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