Selangor Journal
State executive councillor for women empowerment and family Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (third from left) and state executive councillor for local government Ng Sze Han (centre) at the Kita Selangor Conference: Commitment in Universal Design Towards an Inclusive State at Sunway Resort Hotel, Subang Jaya, on March 7, 2023. — Picture by MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN/SELANGORKINI

Exco: Selangor to improve accessibility of public facilities for elderly, disabled community

By Zareef Muzammil

SUBANG JAYA, March 7 — The Selangor government is taking proactive measures to improve public facilities to ensure that it is accessible for persons with disabilities (OKUs) following the anticipated increase of the group by 15 per cent from the nation’s total population.

State executive councillor for women empowerment and family Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said that due to the longer life expectancy of the population, the state administration has also taken into consideration the rise in the number of senior citizens in providing ease of access and safe infrastructure.

“The WHO (World Health Organisation) has forecasted a 15 per cent increase of the OKU group in the population. We will also be part of the group due to the longer life expectancy of about 20 per cent of the population where they will live up to 80 years old as compared to 60 years old.

“We want to prevent the issue of inaccessibility. If we do not start preparing now, we will have to make changes (to the infrastructure) in the future, which will be very costly.

“We want the awareness (in providing public facilities that are accessible for the OKU and elderly) to start from now. Architects and engineers must be prepared for this,” she said in a press conference at the Kita Selangor Conference: Commitment in Universal Design Towards an Inclusive State (Persidangan Kita Selangor: Iltizam Rekabentuk Sejagat Ke Arah Negeri Inklusif) at Sunway Resort Hotel, here today.

Also present were state executive councillor for local government Ng Sze Han and State Deputy Secretary (Development) Dato’ Johary Anuar.

The event was also in cooperation with the Malaysian Institute of Planner, the International Islamic University of Malaysia, the Malaysian Institute of Architects, the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia and the Selangor Action Council for the Disabled.

Meanwhile, 400 participants attended the conference, organised by the Subang Jaya City Council and State Economic Planning Unit (Upen), which aims to raise awareness of the development of accessible public facilities.

During the event, the constraints faced by the elderly and OKUs due to inaccessible of public facilities were also addressed.

Ng said that the attendees were informed of the importance of applying barrier-free architecture in all typologies of buildings including schools, housing, business and office buildings.

“To achieve the efforts to empower the OKU group, all parties must contribute in providing the built environment based on universal design.

“We hope that the stakeholders are committed to implementing development projects while taking into consideration the capabilities of the relevant groups,” he said at the press conference.

Ng added that following the conference, his committee will hold an engagement session with stakeholders including architects, urban planners, councillors and local councils to set guidelines for the design of the built environment.

“So far, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has the guidelines (OKU-friendly architecture), which need to be improved so that it becomes a general guideline for all the local councils in the state,” he said.

The disabled group is among the target groups that are focused on in the state’s five-year development plan, the First Selangor Plan (RS-1), by improving the well-being of the people involved.

There are currently around 90,000 registered disabled individuals in Selangor.

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