KUALA LUMPUR, The national-level celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) 2023 tomorrow is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to continue to give priority to programmes and activities that contribute to the development and well-being of the community in this country.
Department of Social Welfare (JKM) director-general Norazaman Othman said it was in line with the theme of this year's celebration 'Membangun OKU MADANI’.
He said the celebration at Padang Merdeka, Sarawak would include several elements including advocacy to raise awareness and form a positive attitude among the community towards the group.
"In addition, it is to encourage the registration for PwDs to ascertain the population, distribution, and categories of disabilities in the country in order to better plan prevention, education, habilitative, and rehabilitative programmes, training, and services.
"Others are to plan and provide suitable facilities that cater to the needs of the PwDs and to expand collaboration between government agencies, private sector and voluntary welfare organisations in planning programmes to increase the number of registered PwDs in this country," he told Bernama.
Based on JKM statistics, as of Oct 31, the number of PwDs who have been registered in the Information Management System for Persons with Disabilities (SMOKU) is 681,074, but according to Norazaman, the number is still too low at only 1.8 per cent.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 15 per cent of the world’s population, or estimated one billion people, live with disabilities and 80 per cent of that number are in developing countries.
He said there was a limitation on the definition of the disabled which caused the dropout of the number included in that category, in addition to the low awareness among the community, especially the next of kin.
Meanwhile, Norazaman said a total of seven awards will be announced at the 2023 PWD Day celebration in an effort to show the government's recognition to individuals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and employers committed towards the excellence of PWDs in this country.
The awards are the Anugerah Khas OKU, Anugerah Khas Ibu Bapa Mithali OKU, Anugerah Persatuan Sukarela Kebajikan (PSK) OKU Cemerlang, Anugerah Majikan Prihatin (Swasta), Anugerah Khas Job Coach, Anugerah Khas Pusat Jagaan OKU Swasta and Anugerah Khas Pekerja OKU MADANI.
Norazaman said the celebration will also be enlivened with various activities such as aerobics, fun walk, traditional games, 30 booths selling PwD products, blood donation drive, health check, PwD registration, mini career carnival and many more.
Members of the public, especially the PwDs are invited to the celebration which would help in the development of the community in this country.
Malaysia is one of the countries committed to ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) by categorising the PwDs into seven main categories, namely hearing, visual, speech, physical, learning, mental and multiple disabilities.
The theme of the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities is 'United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities’.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency