Ministry Makes It More Difficult For The Disabled To Park In Handicapped Lots
Say you were faced with an increase of demands for an exclusive product/service you offered, what would you do?
If your answer was to make it even more exclusive by introducing additional requirements, you may be an employee of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
Last week, Channel NewsAsia reported that the MSF had revised the Car Park Label Scheme for people with disabilities such that only those with bulky mobility aids are eligible.
This would mean that those using crutches and quad sticks will no longer be allowed to park in handicapped spots.
Perplexed At Decision
Citing the increasing demands of such labels over the past 5 years as the reason, the MSF told Channel NewsAsia that they had wanted to “reserve accessible lots for those who require additional space” — i.e. those using wheelchairs or walking frames.
Naturally, the decision left Singaporeans perplexed and those affected weren’t too pleased.
Left fuming after the change, national Paralympian Kalai Vanen took to his Facebook profile on Wednesday (Aug 2) to air his frustrations, saying that he has been left “crippled” by the very people supposedly working for the betterment of disabled people like him.
In his post, he lamented how he would be forced to use a walking frame if he wanted to continue using handicapped lots, and how cumbersome they would be for him, as compared with the elbow crutches he is currently using.
Read what he posted here:
He also stated that the use of a walking aid or wheelchair would only be detrimental to his mobility — and it’s more difficult when it rains or if he’s carrying bags.
The personal trainer questioned why none of the “disability” associations have made any statement on the new ruling.
For those who may not know who Vanen is, the powerlifter won a bronze medal in his ASEAN Paralympic Games debut in 2015 — Singapore’s 1st medal in the event.
And he did this by lifting a massive 140kg — so when a strong guy like him says that he feels “crippled”, we should take him seriously.
Ex-PAP MP Chips In
Vanen’s post achieved over 1,000 shares in just 12 hours, and even caught the attention of former PAP MP Inderjit Singh.
Now CEO of Solstar International, Mr Singh said the case was an example of civil servants being out of touch with reality and making decisions without first understanding ground issues.
Netizens were firmly behind the call for MPs to take the issue up.
One user even compared the decision makers to robots.
Are MPs and top civil servants in Singapore really that disconnected with the very people they are supposed to be serving? This netizen seems to think so.
The banning of disabled people on crutches and quad sticks isn’t the only move that the MSF made with regards to handicapped lots.
It also introduced 2 kinds of handicapped labels, one for disabled drivers (blue) and another for those who drive them around (yellow).
Dubiously, the yellow label comes with a stipulation that the driver has to leave in 1 hour or be fined $200.
This means that drivers who want to go shopping or have a meal with their disabled friends or relatives can do so for less than one hour, or leave the disabled person there and drive off.
Is this another questionable move on the authorities’ part?
Making Decisions For The Sake Of Doing So
We know that civil servants have to justify their jobs and salaries by thinking of new ways to do things.
But sometimes it feels like the decisions they make are just meant to show that they are doing something, but just creates problems for the very people they are supposed to serve.