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OKU establishment in the works

Izah Azahari

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has initiated plans to set up a unified centre for persons with different abilities (OKU) offering a range of skill development programmes to enable OKU to acquire skills that align with the requirements of the job market.

This was shared by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad during the 19th Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday in response to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Haji Mohd Yusof.

The LegCo member queried how far the skills programmes meet the required standards based on market demand and whether analysis has been done on the impact of these implemented programmes.

The minister noted that the frequent feedback from parents expressing a desire to witness their differently-abled children achieve self-reliance, secure livelihoods and lead independent lives.

He added that meeting the needs is a challenging task as their requirements may vary considerably, depending on their individual needs.

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad during the Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday; and LegCo members during the session. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI

The establishment of the proposed OKU centre is expected to provide a viable solution by offering programmes tailored to the specific needs of differently-abled individuals.

The minister said, “The MCYS also works closely with the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) to look for companies that will provide job opportunities to OKU.”

He shared that the increase in number of companies offering jobs to OKU can be seen from a recent job fair, including backoffice jobs and those that are subject to the needs and abilities of each OKU.

“We hope that in the future, more companies will be able to offer employment opportunities to people with different abilities,” said the minister.

He also shared that several organisations have offered employment opportunities such as the Employees Trust Fund (TAP), which also sees its officers and staff taking the initiative to learn sign language to integrate OKU, as well as the Land Transport Department.

“This is certainly a good start and I hope that it can be implemented by the public and private sectors to generate more job opportunities because it is one of the corporate social responsibilities for private companies as well,” said the minister.

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