Make Pemulih more inclusive for OKUs

Rapelson Richard Hamit

KUCHING: Persatuan Anak Istimewa Sarawak (Perais) has asked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to revise the National People’s Wellbeing and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) so that it is more inclusive for people with disabilities (OKU).

Perais president Rapelson Richard Hamit said the government had agreed to provide financial assistance of RM500 for three months and for that reason, RM300 million has been allocated to benefit 20,000 OKUs.

“The allocation is to help OKUs who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and are not for the recipients of the existing Disabled Workers Allowance (EPC).”

He pointed out that the government had also implemented the General Initiative Networking Programme (JITU) to provide capital and help for the disabled and homeless in business.

“RM20 mln has been allocated for this purpose and is expected to benefit 40,000 individuals.”

Perais suggested that the JITU budget be allocated in detail for OKUs only.

“The budget needs to be allocated in detail as the allocation is often mixed with the less fortunate and other traders.”

He also asked the government to ensure that recipients of the Geran Perniagaan (GKP) are also eligible for the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR), adding that he had received complaints from OKU traders that many of them, who had received the GKP, were disqualified.

“This has affected their businesses, especially the visually impaired who run massage centres, buskers, or tissue sellers.

“I’m informed that there were massage centres about to go bankrupt in Sibu and Miri due to the pandemic and the movement control order.”

Rapelson also proposed that the monthly assistance received by OKUs be increased by RM50 and the maximum limit of EPC be increased to RM3,000.

Perais also recommended that one-off assistance of RM500 be given to all OKUs who are recipients of monthly assistance because this group’s income was also severely affected.

On July 10, a memorandum was handed to Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin to be presented at parliament.