By Emma Victoria
THE SARAWAK disabled community (OKU) has urged the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to be firm and not practice double standards when it comes to queue jumpers, involving VIPs and their families.
Society of the Blind Malaysia (Sarawak branch) chairman Isak Ngau said apologising was not enough as there should be some stern action or compounds imposed on them. Otherwise, they are belittling the OKU community.
“We want action taken against them, especially when they had cut the queue on the OKU lane – this should also be a lesson to the public that no one should belittle the OKU community,” he said in a statement today.
Last month, SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had assured that incidents of VIPs cutting queues for Covid-19 vaccines would not happen again.
Uggah said he was aware of the incident, which had gone viral on social media, but however refused to comment further on it.
“We apologise for what had happened and it will not happen again,” he told reporters after photos of VIPs, including politicians and their spouses had cut the queue for Covid-19 vaccinations using the OKU lane, went viral on social media.
A text message claimed that the OKU queue was shorter than the normal queue so the VIPs used it instead. It also said many of the OKU members were already there waiting for hours when different parties of VIPs came throughout the day and further held up the line.
“The whole hall was making noise. The VIPs knew that people were complaining about them, but they just walked in and out with straight faces, ignoring the ruckus… as if we don’t exist,” said the text message.
Apart from that, Isak wants Covid-19 vaccinations for the OKU in the state to be sped up as they are among those in the high-risk groups.
He said the government should prioritise the OKU and their family members or those staying in the same households, to reduce risks of getting infected by the virus.
He said the Welfare Department can also help to ensure all the OKU are vaccinated as soon as possible as the department has all the details of the OKU in the state, including how to contact them.
“Besides, we had also registered for the vaccine via MySejahtera,” he said.