Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Malaysia, disabled market seller says other vendors harass her

From Free Malaysia Today:

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia -- A wheelchair-bound seller of frozen foods is seeking the mayor’s help to keep her space at the Taman Megah Market.

Sher Nee claims she is being harassed by other vendors to move towards the back of the market.

Her stall is designed for people with disabilities; it is close to a ramp and has extra space in front of it to accommodate her wheelchair. The fruit and vegetable vendors in the rear areas of the market have been complaining about congestion.

MBPJ councillor Anthony Thanasayan, Taman Megah Resident’s Association (Temara) chairman Francis Lee and the president of Independent Living and Training Centre, Francis Siva, highlighted her plight at a press conference today.

According to Lee, Temara approached MBPJ councillor Tiew Way Keng for help in seeking a solution but he has not been cooperative. Nee said Tiew even scolded her.

She submitted a memorandum to Thanasayan today to seek the mayor’s intercession.

Thanasayan said he would investigate the matter. “This is a serious issue as it touches upon the discrimination of the disabled,” he said.

Nee said she would not be able to continue doing business if she were to move to the back because the stalls there were not disabled-friendly.

The front stalls are occupied by vendors who are elderly, disabled or in poor health.

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua told FMT the issue had less to do with discrimination of the disabled and more with the market being badly designed for traffic flow.

He said there would be another press conference on the issue this Thursday and that Temara, MBPJ and the Hawkers’ Association would be represented. Tiew would also be there, he added.