Fellow mariner Capt. Abdul Karim Stuart Russell, a regular commenter in my blog, is a man who likes to walk the talk. Although retired, he is still active as adviser to the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) and Secretary for the Support Group Society for the Blind of Malaysia or Supporteam.
In recent letters to Malaysiakini and the NST, Capt. Karim wrote: "The International Day of Disabled Persons on Dec 3 was yet another wonderful opportunity to promote understanding and increase public awareness of disability issues, and to promulgate the importance of integration and the well-being of people with disabilities." However, he expressed disappointment that little is still being done to help them access facilities, transport, etc.
"Half-hearted action, lip service, discrimination and marginalisation will not help disabled persons in Malaysia live an independent, integrated, dignified, equitable, productive, and happy lives during which they can raise a family and contribute to the well-being of their family and the nation. Effective, well-thought out and wide-ranging legislation and strict enforcement outlawing the discrimination of persons with disabilities will be a concrete step forward," he added. "Malaysia," Capt. Karim asserts,"needs a comprehensive Disability Discrimination Act."
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