PETALING JAYA: A more comprehensive database on disabled people is essential to ensure they get all the help they need from the government, according to Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh.
She said her ministry’s database revealed there are about 500,000 Malaysians with special needs, but she believes the number is higher.
She attributed the shortfall in data to lack of basic amenities for registration.
“This lack of basic facilities, such as printers, slows down the registration process, thereby deterring special needs people from coming forward,” she said in her speech at the Malaysia Applied Behaviour Analysis International Symposium 2019 today.
“It’s an embarrassment. By putting just one more printer in each state will speed up the registration process substantially.”
Yeoh said another possible cause over the lack of data is the stigma attached to the condition for the family.
“Some parents with special needs children feel a deep shame and are not confident enough to seek assistance,” she said.
She said her ministry would embark on a registration drive, known as ‘Jom Daftar’ starting next year and would focus on the rural areas.
Yeoh, who is also Segambut MP, urged fellow members of parliament nationwide to identify organisations that can help to improve the registration system.