PETALING JAYA: Two advocacy groups have lamented the lack of representation for persons with disabilities (PwD) in the Dewan Negara following the end of Ras Adiba Radzi’s term.
Boleh Space and SIUMAN said today marks the 11th day that the PwD community is without representation in the Dewan Negara.
“Until today, there is no announcement from the government about the process of appointing a senator representing PwDs to fill the vacancy, or whether the term of the third senator (Ras Adiba) will be extended,” they said in a joint statement.
They said the nomination process, including any renomination as well as evaluation, should have begun much earlier to ensure the PwD community is represented in Parliament at all times.
The groups claimed that the process of nominating and evaluating senatorial candidates representing PwDs seemed to be a secret. “This is against the principles of transparency and accountability,” they said.
“The election and appointment of the senator representing the disabled community should not be done solely based on superficial identity politics.”
They outlined several steps the government could take to ensure transparency, including putting the profile of the candidates on platforms as well as broadcasting the selection and evaluation process.
The government should also form an independent committee to evaluate the candidates and ensure that at least 75% of its members are PwDs. The committee members must also declare any form of conflict of interest, they said.
They also urged the government to elect three senators to represent the PwD community.