Several disabled groups say Najib's budget has ignored the disabled even though he is calling it a caring budget .
The Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) president Anthony Thanasayan said he had expected more from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who had termed the budget as a caring budget.
“We hardly got anything. The disabled need at least RM500 monthly to sustain a decent living,” said Thanasayan.
Yesterday, Najib announced Budget 2012 at the Parliament, dispensing various goodies especially to the civil servants and the low income earners.
Among others, he announced salary revision for civil servants and higher employer contribution to the EPF for workers earning less than RM5,000 monthly.
Thanasayan said the disabled groups have put in request for additional aid to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry for many years but received lukewarm response.
What the government should do, Thanasayan said, was to provide care-givers to those disabled who are bedridden and paralysed.
He said this was important as not many of the bedridden people were taken care of by own their family members.
“In the US, the state hires personal attendants to assist bedridden people. Singapore even has a law to compel family members to look after their aged or sickly elders. This is what we need in Malaysia,” said Thanasayan who is also Petaling Jaya City Hall councillor.
Echoing Thanasayan’s sentiments, Independent Living and Training Centre advisor Francis Siva said it was unthinkable that Najib had left out the disabled community in his budget speech.
“It shows how sincere the government is in taking care of our needs,” said Siva .
He also said that this was not the first time the government had shortchanged the underprivileged group as it happened before when allocation for the disabled did not reach the target group.
“Few months back, the government announced additonal funds for the disabled group but till today none of us know how to go about getting the aid due to heavy bureucracy,” said Siva.
All the disabled want, Siva added, was to have a quality life by having a decent shelter and better access to public transport.
“Most disabled are living in a bad shape. It’s not like we enjoy living on charity but is it too much for us to ask for a little dignity?” asked Siva.
He said there was no point for the government to spend huge sums of money for mega projects when the disabled are living in bad conditions.
“We will arrange for a meeting with the prime minister soon to put in our requests,” he said.