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Oct 31, 2018

Equal job opportunities for the disabled | Letters

THE launching of a free jobs portal targeting the disabled community is a welcome development in forging equal opportunities for all Malaysians.

The strategic partnership between Brickfields Asia College (BAC), an education group, and the Human Resources Ministry is a significant milestone in the nation’s history.

While there have been portals catering to the disabled, this is the first time that there has been a collaboration between a private educational institution and the government, underlining the common good that can be derived from such collaborative efforts. This comes in line with the suggested new provisions of the Employment Act that emphasise equal opportunities for all Malaysian to pursue a career without being discriminated against. This should be complemented by identifying and categorising jobs that could be performed by the disabled and recruitment policies that accept the potential of the disabled community.

It is vital to point out that the employment opportunities in Malaysia today are mostly coloured by prejudices such as ethnic preferences, gender inequality and lack of appreciation for potential and qualities of the disabled community. Corporate social responsibility is geared more towards public relations exercises that result in polishing corporate credentials rather than creating opportunities to empower the downtrodden.

In this context, the endeavour of creating a favourable opportunity for the disabled is a positive move but it needs a mechanism or a body that will enhance its effectiveness.

We need to create disabilities commission to ensure there is no deliberate discrimination. We could emulate Britain’s Disability Rights Commission (DRC) that was established by the Labour government in 1999. At that time, the DRC was Britain’s third equality commission alongside the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Therefore it is hoped that progressive policies of equal opportunities within capabilities and potential of disabled communities and the mechanism to support them could be part of our industrial culture in the New Malaysia that intends to reach developed-nation status. There is a continuous need for collaborative efforts between the ministry and the private sector to ensure such policies are in place to enhance human capital development in the country.

RONALD BENJAMIN

Executive secretary

Pertubuhan Kebajikan Komuniti dan Dialog

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