Nancy: Community Development Ministry-OKU Sentral collab will help understand OKU needs better

PUTRAJAYA: The cooperation between the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) and OKU Sentral will allow the ministry to better understand situations and the needs of persons with disabilities (OKU) in a more detailed manner, its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (pic) said.

Nancy met Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi, the president of OKU Sentral, a non-governmental organisation that champions the rights of OKU at her office Tuesday (Jan 3), in which Ras Adiba voiced out the needs of the OKU community.

Nancy said the collaboration will make it easier for her to empower the development of OKUs to ensure equal rights and the well-being of the community.

“We (KPWKM) really appreciate this meeting as it will be able to enhance our knowledge of the OKU community,” she told Bernama at the conclusion of the meeting.

The hour-long meeting was also attended by KPWKM secretary-general Datuk Dr Maziah Che Yusof and Social Welfare Department director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Abu Sohot.

Meanwhile, Ras Adiba said among the proposals put forward in the meeting were law and policy reforms, including amendments to Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Act 2008 and Care Centres Act 1993, and transforming the OKU Development Department into a single body.

A proposal to make the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) a special agency to produce certified sign language interpreters was also discussed, she added.

“I am grateful the minister (Nancy) was open to listening to some of the proposals presented and she expressed her willingness to discuss them with the agencies under KPWKM,” Ras Adiba, who is also Bernama chairman, said.

Ras Adiba said she also suggested that the ministry scrap the implementation of the monthly cashless welfare assistance payment scheme or JKMPay, as it is difficult for recipients to make purchases using the methods involved.

“JKMPay was introduced to help OKUs, but it did not achieve its objective. Only some business premises accept payment using JKMPay and this makes it difficult for the community. I hope it is abolished,” she said.

JKMPay was implemented through a pilot project in February 2021 in six states, namely Kedah, Perlis, Melaka, Terengganu, Kelantan and Selangor.

Among others, it aims to help recipients to manage and control the spending of aid money prudently. – Bernama