the star: welcome news

since i have a couple of extra minutes to spare, i thought i should post up an article that caught my attention some weeks ago.

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date: september 18, 2008; thursday
published in: theStar / the star online
url: welcome news

Welcome news

WHEEL POWER WITH ANTHONY THANASAYAN
Something to look forward to for the disabled.
PEOPLE with disabilities living in Selangor have been receiving some really good news recently. First, there was the announcement last month by the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya that as many as 150 disabled car parking lots are being introduced by the council and will be ready for use by Christmas.

Now there is more good news. This time from Subang Jaya.

It was reported last week that handicapped residents in the area who drive are encouraged to apply for free parking stickers from the local council.

The stickers will, according to Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, enable the disabled to park their cars at public parking lots that are managed by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ).

It will take a lot more education before we can expect drivers to show more consideration for the needs of the handicapped.

Parking, according to the report, will be free for the handicapped to save them the inconvenience of paying at the parking meters. Here is another shining example of a local council that is willing to go the extra mile in understanding our problems.

We, as handicapped Malaysians, only ask for a chance to live like other non-disabled citizens. It is not often that we come across local councils that show such interest in helping the disabled.

Few of us can forget the shocking incident in 2006 when a woman driver in a wheelchair in Klang was slapped with a warrant of arrest for not settling her parking dues. She couldn’t because the parking metres were simply too high for her reach.

That episode thankfully ended on a positive note – the warrant was rescinded.

The Majlis Perbandaran Klang also showed their sincerity over the error. They went on to introduce scores of disabled-friendly car parks in their town. These are also available free to disabled drivers. The waivers should be given in view of the fact that our infrastructure had not included the needs of the disabled community in the original blueprint. This is why many disabled Malaysians are unable to study in normal schools, find jobs and live a normal life.

So offering free services like these can be considered as society’s “payback time” for the handicapped whom we have disabled by our unwitting neglect.

And one day when full, equal participation by the disabled is finally realised, they will be able to pay for the services themselves.

That is, when all unjust barriers are done away with and the disabled enjoy equal job opportunities, and are in a financial position to take care of themselves.

Until then, it would have to be the local council’s responsibility to look into the needs of its disabled citizens.

All private outfits and shopping complexes should also use this understanding to provide free parking for the disabled as part of their corporate social responsibility.

This would be in line with steps taken by the Federal Government to offer free medical treatment and free passports, to name a few, for the handicapped.

Back to the MBSJ, there are several issues that need to be looked into to make the disabled car parking project a success. The parking stickers need to include caregivers and volunteers who transport the handicapped and not just disabled drivers alone.

Special designated lots for the handicapped is a must. It is not practical to expect the disabled to park in available lots because there really won’t be any.

And let us not expect other drivers to give up their parking lots for the less fortunate. It will take a lot more education in the future before we can expect our denizens to give way to the less able among us.

Meanwhile, as for the disabled woman who was slapped with a summons, well, she is Gurdip aka Rina Kaur who is now councillor for Majlis Perbandaran Selayang.

The last I heard was that she is working hard to improve facilities for the disabled in her area.

Indeed, good and great things are happening for the disabled community.

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definitely a welcoming move!
it’ll be an added bonus if pavements and walkways are disabled-friendly too.

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starfish

one day i’ll blog a proper update, but i’ll resort to this for now. this arrived in my inbox a couple of minutes ago:

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.” “I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?” “The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.” “But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

There is something very special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference, and if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our visions the power to shape the future.

We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be blessed.

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Louise, you’re missed.

found this when i was cleaning up my room today. it was neatly tugged under my many layer of old birthday cards which are probably as old as me. it was a poem dedicated to me by a dear friend, who now, i believe, is smiling down from heaven.

beautiful memories still remain close to my heart, my dear friend. life robbed you from your wondrous dreams. yet till the end you stood strong brave as a soldier. you vowed never to give up, you inspired many.

there’ll always be the ‘if only’s and ‘why’s. God knows best and i know He loved you. please know that you’ll always be missed.

always.

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-untitled-

life is short and unfair
like the sun so high up there
it shines as if so long
but soon, it shall be gone

friendship is an eternity
full of meaning and security
like hope, it shan’t die
in heaven it ranks high

you always be in my mind
no matter where or what time
being friends with you is a pleasure
our times together, i deeply treasure

written by:
louise rita (1984-2002)

:: if i remembered correctly, this poem was later on included in inside louise’s fantasy novel ::

  

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no time to listen?

i had an appointment at damansara jaya couple of days ago for an interview. i was accompanied by my helper and we took a taxi there. as i didn’t have small change and it so happened that the taxi didn’t have enough money to return me back my balance, i had to ask around the nearby shops to change my rm50 note.

thinking that it wouldn’t be that difficult since there was quite a number of shops nearby, i proceeded to what i assume would be the best and nearest option, a restaurant. not only did they refused to change my money, they wouldn’t even talk nor listen. before i could even finished my sentence, i was told to leave.

i left, of course.

headed to the next shop. similar treatment. the guy signalled with his hand to ask me leave. he didn’t even bother looking at the rm50 note i was trying to show him.

next, three gentleman, probably in their 30-40s walked by. i stopped them to ask. one said he had no money to donate. but i wasn’t even asking for donation? i think they assumed i was a beggar or out asking for donation…

since i was getting desperate, i deliberately stood in their way showing them that the note in my hand while indicating that i just wanted small change to pay my taxi fare. next thing i know, this other person took out a fifty-cent coin and told me to go pay parking with it.

i tried explaining that i didn’t need to pay parking but i wanted to pay my taxi fare. he kept saying the fifty-cent is enough to pay parking. then turn around and walked away.

i saw another gentleman approaching. he was in his mid-50’s, i think. instead of shunning me off, he paused to listen. thank God he had small change too.

had i dress shabbily or looked terrible, then maybe it’s understandable to shun me off. but i wasn’t. and it wouldn’t kill to at least allow a person to finish his or her sentence. it’s simple respect.

the uncle, who was much older than all the rest of them, was kind enough to ask if i needed anything else. he even offered to help carry my walker when he saw that i was about to walk up the stairs. all the others could simply do was just look.

if only there was more people like him…

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switchfoot concert

next event on my calender.

switchfoot ticket
picture by calvin tay

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the peak: jazz princess

date: november 2007
published in: the peak magazine

Mag Cover       sophie milman - p.1       sophie milman - p.2       sophie milman - p.3

:: click to enlarge pictures ::

click here to view article in pdf format: sophie milman – pdf

this reminds me that i still haven’t get the pictures of milman’s jazz performance at CoChine in plaza mont kiara.

hints.

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the peak: linkages

date: november 2007
published in: the peak magazine

Mag Cover yeoh kean thai - p.1 yeoh kean thai - p.2 yeoh kean thai - p.3 yeoh kean thai - p.4

:: click to enlarge pictures ::

to view the article in pdf format, click here: yeoh kean thai – pdf

remember my previous entry of how i ended up with drawings on my bandaged hand after the interview. well, here is the man himself. very down-to-earth and a pleasant person to talk to.

i also received an email from datin shalini, owner of the private gallery some time back. here’s what she wrote:

Dear Cheryl:

I have just read the article on Yeoh Kean Thai in this month’s Peak. Thank you very much. It is well written and informative. (Only one typo – 1990s instead of 1900’s – when he first began on the environmental themes!).

Have a wonderful Deepavali.

All the best.

erm… oppsie!

errors like this shouldn’t happen. might be just a slight typo, but it still changes the information altogether. 1900s and 1990s have many years in between.

my bad.
note to self: be more thorough in checking the next time.

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