Call us ‘people with disabilities

Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi attending at the 2021 World Down Syndrome Day Celebration at the Malaysian Down Syndrome Association today. Photo: Bernama

PwDs want term ‘cacat’ replaced ‘OKU’

KUALA LUMPUR: The community of people with disabilities (PwDs) is seeking the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to replace the work “cacat” (disabled) in its term “Elaun Pekerja Cacat or EPC” (Allowance for Disabled Workers) with “OKU”, for “Orang Kurang Upaya” or PwDs.

Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi, who represents the PwDs in the Senate, said the PwDs find the use of the word “disabled” when referring to them as offensive.

 “The term ‘disabled’ is like looking down on the PwD community and we are firm in wanting the term EPC to be changed to Allowance for OKU Workers,” she told reporters after officiating the World Down Syndrome Day at the Malaysian Down Syndrome Association here today.

Last Friday, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry was reported to have made an apology if the use of the term “EPC” has offended the PwD group and said it would change the term next month in conjunction with the Social Welfare Department’s 75th anniversary.

According to the ministry, the term has been used since the 1970s.

Ras Adiba, who is Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman, said she was grateful to Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun for her concern with the feelings of the PwDs over the use of the word.

“I am grateful because she, herself, contacted me after the ministry found that many people were not happy with the use of EPC and I am grateful that our voice is heard and immediate action was taken by the ministry,” she added. – Bernama