20 August, 2011
A group of disabled individuals has voiced its strong disagreement with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd‘s (MAHB) decision not to install aerobridges at the new klia2 terminal.
At a gathering held at Bangsar LRT station, they insisted that aerobridges were essential for safe boarding and disembarkation of passengers from all needs groups.
Group spokesperson Christine Lee, who is wheelchair-bound, said this held true especially for disabled passengers, those with walking difficulties, senior citizens, children and pregnant women.
“MAHB must ensure these facilities are provided and should not compromise at any cost,” said Lee, who is president of the pro-tem non-governmental organisation Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport (BEAT).
She said they had written a letter dated July 18 to seek an appointment with MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad to discuss the issue but had received no response.
However, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) OKU technical committee chairman Anthony Thanasayan said the protest gathering was “premature”.
He said MAHB had met the committee and other disabled groups on Aug 15 to discuss the issue and promised to consider their views.
He added that he personally did not think it was necessary for the aerobridges as ambulifts could better cater for the disabled.
“What’s wrong with using ambulifts? Able-bodied passengers don’t need the aerobridges,” he said, adding that he was more concerned with the toilet and ramp designs at the new low-cost carrier terminal.
Anthony, who also heads the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive), said the OKU technical committee would be involved in ensuring proper access for disabled passengers at the new terminal.
Source: The Star, 20 August, 2011.
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