Ashley Irenaus Jeck

KUCHING: Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah while welcoming the suggestion that people with disabilities (OKU) be given the opportunity to be appointed as a Senator in Dewan Negara, also viewed that to be a senator it needs to be someone who is really committed in serving the people.

The Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development said the appointment of a Senator must not only fulfil the inclusivity aspect, but to ensure that they have the passion, will and commitment to serve.

“They must also champion policies, strategies and programmes for the wellbeing of the people as a whole and people with disabilities in particular,” she told New Sarawak Tribune on Monday (Sept 28).

Fatimah was prompted for comments on the remarks by Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) Bobby William who had made the call for an OKU from Sarawak to be appointed as Dewan Negara Senator representing the special needs group as Sarawak has many prominent OKU figures.

She then said as far as Sarawak is concerned, the state is inclusive in terms of gender, the OKUs, the disadvantaged and the needy.

“All these start with assistance and support for education all the way to the tertiary level,” she said.

She said for instance, her ministry discovered Ashley Irenaus Jeck from Kampung Kekan Dalat during a state-level programme to identify OKU talents and has supported him all the way in his studies and sports career.

“He is a Para Sukma athlete, a badminton player, who has been offered to take up the Bachelor in Sport Science degree in UiTM Sarawak,” she said.