MARUDI: The parents of disabled (OKU) youths are appealing for more employment opportunities for the OKU community here.
Food hawker Troki Samlan, 59 and his wife Halimah Abdullah, 49 told BAT7 yesterday that it is very difficult for OKU people to earn a living here.
“Two of my sons aged 30 and 25 are OKU as both are suffering from Haemophilia Type A. They earn their living working part-time repairing motorcycles at home,” Troki shared.
“There are centres in big towns like Kuching catering not just to OKU children but adults too for them to contribute back to the community and earn some income on their own.”
He added that there are many OKU individuals in Baram district besides his sons looking for job opportunities.
Troki suggested a centre could be set up here to teach them some skills such as sewing, beading, making handicrafts as well as providing an outlet for them to market their products.
He also noted Marudi like other rural towns in the state is affected by the rural-urban drift as the youths are migrating to urban centres in search for jobs.
“There are more youths graduating. There are no major projects in Marudi which offer them job opportunities and giving them a reason to stay.
“So, even if the road connectivity to Marudi gets better in the future, the youths are still moving out of town instead of staying here.”
Janitor Pauline Lidam, 45, agreed that rural to urban migration among youths is inevitable.
The mother of five said two of her children who recently graduated from Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Polytechnic Mukah are still looking for jobs while another who passed the Higher School certificate exam (STPM) is also jobless.
“My children are not choosy when looking for jobs. If they could not find any job opportunities here in Marudi, they have to find work somewhere else.”
Besides looking for job opportunities, the youths of Marudi are also moving out to town to further their studies.
According to teacher Rabiah Ismail, the students of Baram district would move to Kuching or Miri to take courses in vocational and technical institutions.
“There is a need to have a technical secondary school here in Marudi so that they need not have to move out ,” she added.