Thursday, October 28, 2021

Disabled activists claim JKM called in the cops to ‘frighten’ them

They say they were very badly treated and urge welfare minister Rina Harun to explain.

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A group of disabled activists have accused the welfare department (JKM) of calling in the police to intimidate them when they went to the department to inquire about a case in which the Disabled Workers Allowance or EPC for a man was said to be cancelled without a proper investigation.

The activists from the Independent Living & Training Centre Malaysia (ILTC) said they had travelled from Rawang to Kuala Lumpur yesterday to help Kumar Nadeson, a disabled person whom they said had been suffering throughout the Covid-19 pandemic without a proper income.

“We all went there to help him to get the JKM monthly financial aid of EPC allowance.

“They treated us very badly and even called the police to frighten us. We fought with JKM officers at the front desk,” they said in a statement.

Videos of the incident show the activists at the department, arguing with several police officers.

An activist is also seen shouting at an officer when politely asked to leave the premises.

“We want to ask our welfare minister Rina Harun to explain to us how to help this serious issue, where we were very badly treated, very upset, and why they called the police,” the activists added.

MalaysiaNow is seeking a response from the minister as well as the JKM officers.

When contacted, ILTC president Francis Siva said Kumar’s allowance was cancelled because he had not renewed his application using a new form called “Borang Kaji Semula JKM”.

“The last payment was in January 2020. After that, no payment was made until now,” he said.

“He has lost more than RM5,000 so far. He submitted another form in November, but nothing was done.”

Francis, who also said that the allowance was cancelled without proper checks, said the new application process was difficult for the disabled community as many of them are illiterate and do not know how to fill up the form.

“They don’t understand the suffering of OKU people,” he said, using the Malay acronym for those who are disabled. “They can’t come to the office. Public transport is not convenient.”

He said he and the activists have been trying to reach out to Rina to highlight the issue and to urge her to simplify the application process.

He also said that Kumar’s application was immediately approved and a one-month allowance issued after the incident at the department.

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