KUANTAN, Dec 19 — The establishment of the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) Communication Unit next year will be the first task to be handled by the Department of Community Communications (J-KOM) , said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said as it has been planned that the unit would be represented by all seven types of disabilities to cater to the group’s different needs, the delivery of communication must be in a careful and systematic manner.
Saifuddin added that the unit will be set up in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM) taking into account their experience and skills in handling the PwD groups.
“We have this understanding that KKMM will be responsible for communication matters as we are equipped with the various mediums such as television and radio, while KPWKM will focus on providing assistance.
“In addition we need KPWKM, especially the Social Welfare Department (JKM) for their assistance as they have the ideas, expertise and experience in managing individuals, associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with special needs,” he said.
The Indera Mahkota Member of Parliament said this to reporters today, after visiting four families who are seeking shelter at the Kampung Sungai Ular Community Hall here after their homes were hit by flash floods.
He also described the establishment of the unit as timely because the ongoing census would allow the ministry to obtain more accurate information on the number of PwDs among the population, as it was felt that the current figure which stands at 600,000 is much less than the actual number.
He added that the set up of the unit would facilitate information flow, enabling the group easy access to information on education and other matters which are in their interests.
In another development, Saifuddin said as the representative of the people, he has already listed the areas and roads which required better facilities and improvement in the Indera Mahkota parliamentary constituency, including flood prone areas often hit during the monsoon season.
Meanwhile, Sungai Ular Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) chairman Shamshul Azlin Abdul Wahid said the flood evacuees at the relief centre are those whose houses are situated near the river and the continuous rain for the past two days had caused the river to overflow its banks.
“We have placed them here since last Thursday as a precautionary measure because the river had started to overflow and we feared if the water rises at night, rescue work would be hampered,” he added.