PETALING JAYA: Several groups advocating for the disabled community have called for an audit to be conducted on the civil service employment process for persons with disabilities (OKUs).
The groups questioned why the government has not fulfilled its promise of 1% civil service jobs for disabled persons, given that the policy had existed since 1988.
“After 35 years of policy implementation failure, the time has come for an audit of the government employment process of OKUs.
“This (audit) must examine, among others, pre-employment, including vacancy announcements and recruitment, as well workplace attitudinal orientation and other reasonable accommodation in the civil service,” they said in a statement today.
They said the National OKU Action Plan 2018-2022 included the establishment of an audit access team to ensure workplace accessibility and reasonable accommodations, but this initiative remains unfulfilled.
The statement was jointly issued by the OKU Rights Matter Project, Autism Inclusiveness Direction Action Group, Boleh Space, and more than 20 others, including activists and medical consultants.
The group cited data from the public services department (JPA), which showed that as of September 2022, only 0.3% of the civil service comprises OKUs. Some ministries have very poor rates of only 0.1% to 0.2%.
Data from the Public Services Commission revealed that as for 2022, out of 3,777 civil service job applications by OKUs, only 1,008 or 27% were called for an interview.
“This clearly shows the high level of rejection of persons with disabilities at the application phase, even before they have a chance to be interviewed,” the groups said.
As for the employment rate, of the 3,777 applicants, only 71 (1.9%) were employed.
The group also said the rate of employment of those with speech, hearing, psychosocial or learning disabilities were much lower than those with physical or visual disabilities. This could suggest discrimination based on type of disability.
“With 16% of the population having a disability, it is unwise to ignore this potential workforce,” their statement added.
On Monday, human resources minister V Sivakumar said the country’s laws on workplace discrimination cover persons with disabilities as well, and there is no need to enact specific legislation for this group.