WHEELCHAIR-BOUND Francis Xavier Kinjin, 33, is calling on the authorities to provide more disabled-friendly facilities at business commercial centres and government buildings.
Francis, who is from Penampang, said he faced difficulties when he wanted to withdraw money in Donggongon town, Penampang, recently. He said there were no ramps available for people on wheelchairs to access the automated teller machine.
“I had to alight from my wheelchair and crawl up the staircase. I had to haul my wheelchair into the ATM room as well.
“I’m not pointing fingers, but my experience should be a lesson to premises’ owners and the authorities not to neglect the needs of the disabled.”
Francis said the bank had a special pathway for people with disability, but it was not connected to the ATM room. He said the room could be easily accessed via a door connecting to the main bank during working hours.
“However, this can be a problem if the door is closed after business hours. Customers have to use the main door of the ATM room. There is no choice for the disabled but to use the staircase.
“I don’t want to depend on others each time I need to withdraw money. Some individuals could take advantage of our dire situation.”
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jaujan Sembakong said the state government would look into improving facilities for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
Jaujan, who is state local government and housing minister, admitted there was a need to install more disabled- and user-friendly facilities in public areas, such as financial institutions and shopping malls.
“Many places are in need of upgrading, especially commercial centres, so the disabled can go about their daily chores effortlessly.
“We need more user-friendly facilities and will continue to improve the facilities.”
Jaujan said most public toilets, premises and offices in governmental departments, as well as agencies were equipped with disabled-friendly facilities, adding that the private sector must provide amenities that catered to the needs of the disabled.