We are continuing to appeal to our readers and visitors to donate to our work of running two centres. The annual budget is RM120,000 (USD38,000) for 2014 and 2015 and will grow higher as we recruit more staff and take in additional trainees.

Please make payment to 'Persatuan Berdikari Seremban Negeri Sembilan' with your name and address on a cover slip so we can mail you our official receipt. All donations from April 1 2011 will be exempted from taxation by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia. Please send the payment to:

The Treasurer, Persatuan Berdikari Seremban Negeri Sembilan, 381, Jalan Kenanga 1, Taman Bukit Chedang, 70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oops Again! It is Really on TV!

This morning a filming crew working for RTM2 came to carry out the filming and interviewing of our activities for their Kugapai Harapan TV magazine which, I realized upon clarifying with their Production Manager, Cik Suhaini Abdul, is actually a TV programme just like the Fitrah Kasih by RTM1. I was not exactly prepared to be interviewed but rather to read out the prepared answers to the questions that will be posed to me. As it turns out that state of unpreparedness placed me in a more relaxing mood before the camera. As it rolled and Suhaini sat next to it and asked me questions I managed to deliver impromptu replies. It was over in 10 minutes and the cameraman proceeded to video the rest of the activities by the trainees.

We are not advised of the actual broadcast date and time but once we have it I will update with another post.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Compassion in Society

Compassion is a feeling for another's sorrow or suffering. An equivalent term is empathy. Not many people has this ability to understand and feel for the sorrowful, the suffering, the disabled. Perhaps those who can already understood that in the realm of human capacities there is inequality and that they have experienced the empty or half cup syndrome, which is how a person feels looking at life up from the floor level, much as a crippled or a lame beggar would. They further understand that there are others in the same situation, and worst. As such it is easier for them to view life from a blessed eye and hence dispense compassion to those less well off. Or else how shall we explain the poor and the sick still having compassion for others? Compassion belongs to people of every status, wealth and educational background. I guess it is both a gift of discernment as well as life's experience that enable one to feel compassion.

How many of us has true compassion for the disabled people around us? Perhaps when they are truly disabled, like when they are obviously blind, crippled, speech impaired or mentally deficient that we are moved to feel pity and helpful towards them. But do we really feel the same way for others who are not so obviously handicapped? Like the learning disabled people in the workplace?

These people look as normal as you and I but for the exception that they are slow in thinking, expressing, learning and doing. Quite often we fall into the trap of raising our expectations of them. Like why are you STILL so slow? Why can't you learn as fast inspite of all the trainings?

Learning disability is a lifelong setback. Short of wearing a label that shouts 'I Am a Learning Disabled Person' we don't need to demean these fellow human beings any further. We ought to treat them normally BUT with understanding that they are not as normal as we normal people are, or ever will be. Strangers may be forgiven for not knowing the lack of certain capacities of these LD people but those in their circle like family members, neighbors and workplace colleagues ought to know better. Sadly, familiarity still breed contempt and over time our treatment of the LD shift towards the way we treat the other people.

Other factors as to why disabled people failed to receive special treatment are the 'why are they so special? I too have my own set of problems!' ,'it is not my problem!' and the 'they get the same pay so should do the same work!' attitudes. In bad times more and more people need compassion, including the regularly normal families who may cut off their feelings towards the disabled since they too believe that they now belong to the financially disabled crowd!

However, compassion towards the physically and mentally disabled must be an all-season attitude because they are an all-season disability people.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Disabled Persons in the Real World Job Market

It is all honky dory to believe that the real world outside will accept disabled persons in their midst with more compassion and patience than their regular peers. After all, the very fact that they are less endowed than us should invoke a sense of sympathy or even pity, right? Wrong!

What I have learned is that disabled employees are sometimes expected to perform just as well as the abled ones. Perhaps at the onset when they were new their colleagues tend to be more understanding but over time their expectations increase. They begin to expect the disabled colleagues to be picking up new skills as fast as they can and when that is not forthcoming they become critical. The able employees may not know that the disabled colleagues of theirs spent many years just to learn some basic skills and are also not able to learn new ones as well or as fast. Such treatment tend to give rise to grievances.

In some societies, perception of the disabled community is more matured in a sense this special people are already accepted as different and therefore treated with better respect and preference without any qualm. In such environments the disabled are accorded respect and preferential treatment that do not give rise to complaints from the normal adults. Evolving societies are learning to change their mindset. This process may take many years.

Management may have decided to give special privileges to their disabled employees. However, the workers themselves may not be as enthusiastic or charitable in their hearts. Such conflicts take time to resolve. It is necessary for open dialogs between employers and employees to resolve any misunderstanding.

Disable employees and their families are naturally aggrieved by any mistreatment or prejudice at the workplaces. It require patience and public discourse to bring this matter to the forefront, debated and resolved.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oops! Not TV but Magazine

RTM2 has advised us that this November 25's interview and photoshooting will be for their health magazine for the disabled people entitled Kugapai Harapan. It will not be for television broadcast as misunderstood by us. Upon reflection I realise it is a better idea since we will have newspapers, television and magazine coverages. Publication is due in March next year so this help spread our publicity over a long period rather than condensed all into this year. It is marvelous how we see PBSNS start off.

We plan to buy several copies of this magazine for distribution to our supporters.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Proposal to Buy Church Building

Yesterday, at the local church executive committee meeting, I raised the proposal agreed by the PBSNS committee at its 27th September meeting, to buy over the church building that we are now renting so that the work of training the learning disabled may be expanded to include the first floor that is now used by the church as its administration office. We need the additional space to both improve on the training modules as well as accept more trainees on our waiting list.

Should the church agree to sell we will have to embark on fund raising projects after getting approval from the relevant authorities. It is my belief that the timing of this proposed purchase will help both PBSNS and the church in its growth. Do pray that God's will for us will be carried out smoothly.

Friday, November 7, 2008

PBSNS on Fitrah Kasih

I am thankful that RTM1 has aired a 3 minutes segment on the work of PBSNS on their Fitrah Kasih programme on 7th November 2008 at 9.00pm. Below is the videoclip for your viewing.