Gov't attentive to needs of disabled at every stage of their lives: PM

FERNANDO FONG

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government is attentive to the needs of the disabled in the country.

He said even though they comprise just 0.01 per cent of the Malaysian population, their welfare is very close to his heart.

It is why the government begins providing an allowance of RM150 per month to the disabled, as early as when they begin schooling.

"To continue their studies in institutions of higher education, people with disabilities (are afforded) special channels to enable them to get quality education.

"At the same time, they are entitled to receive scholarships and a monthly allowance during their studies at universities, colleges, polytechnics and community colleges.

"The government also pays attention to the disabled when they enter the working world," he said in a speech which was uploaded to his website, www.najibrazak.com.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister and Pekan MP, pointed out that disabled workers are given an allowance of RM350 a month.

Those who are unable to work receive RM200, while the bedridden get RM300 a month.

The government also assists people with disabilities who wish to venture into business. Up to RM2,700 in launching grant is provided to help them improve their lives through entrepreneurship.

In addition, they get free medical treatment at government hospitals. They do not have to pay for specialist treatment, medication costs and third-class ward charges, said the Prime Minister.

"(Much) more assistance (is) provided to ensure that they can live comfortably. (This information should be conveyed to the disabled), so that they know their rights.

"God willing, together, we can ensure that their welfare is maintained in our country," Najib added.