KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 7): The government must continue to increase its efforts to empower and develop persons with disabilities (PwD) in the field of sports in line with the commitment under the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, said Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi.
Ras Adiba, who represents the disabled community in the Dewan Negara, said the success of the athletes in the recent 2020 Tokyo Paralympics proved that they were capable of making the country proud in the world of sports.
In this context, she has made several recommendations to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) to ensure that the group continues to excel in sports.
Firstly, she suggested that elite deaf athletes be accepted into the National Sports Council's (NSC) programmes for preparation like mainstream athletes and para athletes, with equivalent facilities provided.
“Secondly, the awarding of the Sports Victory Prize Scheme Incentive (SHAKAM) for deaf athletes who win medals at the Deaflympics, Asia Pacific Deaf Games and the ASEAN Deaf Games, as well as the International Deaf Athletics Championships.
“Thirdly, for the Malaysian Deaf Games (SOPMA) to be held in line with SUKMA (Malaysia Games), as well as Para SUKMA and for its organisation to be facilitated as it is the largest sports competition at the national level, which is aimed at unearthing new talents among the deaf in the country,” she said in a statement today.
Apart from that, Ras Adiba also urged the National Youth and Sports Department (JBS) to provide an allocation to the state JBS to be channelled to the respective state affiliates of the Malaysian Deaf Sports Association (MSDeaf) in preparation for SOPMA.
Other proposals include the construction of the first sports school for the disabled; provision of support facilities such as physiotherapy and funding; ensuring PwD-friendly facilities and amenities at stadiums, sports complexes and fields; as well as giving para athletes who are no longer competing the opportunity to become coaches.
In a similar development, she welcomed the proposal by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu to amend the PwD Act 2008 in an effort to provide more facilities and access to the special community.
“I hope that the Minister of Youth and Sports can create a national sports vision canvas specifically for the empowerment of the disabled in sports,” she said.
She also congratulated the Malaysian contingent for bringing home three gold and two silver medals from the Tokyo Paralympics, which is the country’s best haul since taking part in the Games in 1972.