Tuesday, October 26

Fatimah hopes for change in public’s perception of the disabled


Fatimah shows an article on the Malaysian paralympians published in The Borneo Post during the Zoom meeting.

KUCHING (Aug 26): It is hoped that the success of five Sarawakians selected to represent Malaysia at the Tokyo Paralympic Games will open the public’s eyes to the capabilities of the disabled, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said Bonnie Bunyau Gustin (powerlifting), Jong Yee Khie (powerlifting), Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli (swimming), Jamery Siga (swimming), and Wiro Julin (archery) will be among 22 Malaysian paralympians gearing up for success at the Tokyo Paralympic Games taking place from now until Sept 5.

“They have done the state and country proud with their representation at the world-class sporting event and we hope that they are successful and able to bring back an outstanding achievement for themselves, their families and of course, Malaysia,” she said at the ‘Let’s Support Our Para Athletes in Tokyo Paralympics 2020’ press conference held over Zoom yesterday.

Also present were her assistant ministers Datuk Francis Harden Hollis and Datuk Rosey Yunus, and the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Rashidah Bolhassan.

Fatimah hoped that the paralympians’ achievement can change the public’s attitude and perspective towards the disabled.

“We should be proud of their progress and success. Their involvement should serve as an inspiration to people with disabilities or other special needs.

“What they lack should not become a barrier for a disabled person to succeed in life,” she said.

In addition, she hoped to see accessibility, infrastructure, education, rehabilitation, sports participation, culture, employment and the wellbeing of the disabled will increase and improve as well.

She said this is the seventh time that Sarawak para athletes are participating in the Paralympics, the first of which was in 1992.

“Following that, we have participated in every subsequent Paralympics since 2000,” she added.

Malaysia’s contingent will be competing in nine sports and 32 events at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

A total of 4,400 athletes from 160 countries will be competing in 22 sports at this year’s event.