Almost half million OKUs registered with Welfare Dept — Rohani

MIRI: A total of 433,952 people with disabilities (OKU) in the country have registered with the Welfare Department.

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Dato Sri Rohani Abdul Karim said of the number, people with learning disabilities accounted for 151,954 or 35 percent while 16,461 autistic persons make up 3.7 percent.

For Sarawak, Rohani who is also Batang Lupar MP said the number of registered OKU was 29,872 with 36.3 percent (10,842) having learning problems while autism accounted for 3.6 percent (1,078).

Speaking to the media after officiating at an autism seminar held at a hotel here yesterday Rohani said her ministry welcomed suggestions from parents that can contribute to efforts to design specific programmes for their autistic children.

She urged parents of children with disabilities (OKU) to send them for rehabilitation at the community rehabilitation centres (PDK) nationwide to teach them to become useful citizens.

“The government can provide the facilities but it is pertinent for parents to register their OKU children with these centres to ensure they get learning and training according to their disabilities,” Rohani asserted.

There are a total of 544 PDKs throughout the country with over 20,300 OKUs registered with the centres.

In Sarawak, some 3,100 special children have registered with 51 PDK centres statewide.

The seminar was organised by Association of Wives of Ministers and Assistant Ministers Sarawak (Sabati), Autistic Association Miri in collaboration with Miri District Office.

Also present were Sabati‘s president Datin Amar Datuk Jumaani Tuanku Bujang who is wife of Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, Lambir Assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Sabati exco members and Miri District Officer Mohd Yusuf Abdul Aziz.