Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Better care required for those with special needs - Malaysian Bar, with reference to Taman Sinar Harapan

Malaysian Bar Council

No. 13, 15 & 17, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2031 3003 (Hunting Line) Fax: 03-2034 2825, 2026 1313, 2072 5818
E-mail: council@malaysianbar.org.my
Website: http://www.malaysianbar.org.my

Press Release

Better care required for those with special needs

Recent media reports regarding Taman Sinar Harapan, a government-run care facility in Kuala Kubu Baru, have highlighted some of the challenges that the Government and members of society alike must face up to where the care of persons with special needs is concerned.

The Government must demonstrate its commitment to the care of the disabled as well as other marginalised groups by allocating more financial and personnel resources to the Welfare Ministry and other relevant agencies. This is a heavy responsibility, but one that the Government must fulfil as part of its obligation to its citizens. It must identify and recognise the specific needs of residents of institutions such as the Taman Sinar Harapan homes and take the necessary measures to ensure that the residents are adequately cared for, including providing sufficient caregivers who are properly trained, equipped and remunerated for the very difficult work that they do.

However, the issue is far more complex. At the root of it is the question of how we, as members of society, deal with the issue of disability and treat persons with disabilities and other needs. What are our values and our priorities, as privileged individuals?

Offensive as it is to acknowledge, there are some families that effectively abandon their members to institutionalised care, and walk away because they cannot (or do not want to) cope with the hardship of providing round-the-clock intensive care. They have passed the buck to the State, and salve their consciences that way, although they may realise that the care their family members will receive is woefully inadequate. The rest of us are content to behave like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the sand, until shocking media reports force us to react and to at least point a collective accusing finger at the Government before once more retreating into the comforts of our privileged lives.

The responsibility for caring for less fortunate members of society must lie with the Government, but also with each and every one of us. While we look to the State to discharge its duties to care for its rakyat, we must, individually and collectively, also play a role in ensuring that the welfare, and human rights, of these individuals are not conveniently swept under the carpet until the next media exposé.

Ragunath Kesavan

Malaysian Bar
7 July 2009

1 comment:

nckeat88 said...

Ia gree with you for this issue. The problem is underfunding. The gov should have just forget of compensating those greedy residents at Kampong Buah Pala and use the money in a more meaningful way such as this.