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Hire the deaf and other OKUs: Shafie
Published on: Monday, September 24, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah companies have been urged to follow those that employ the deaf and other OKUs in the State.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal noted that the Sabah Society for The Deaf is giving awards for outstanding performance under various categories for Academic Achievement, Co-curriculum Achievement, Best Employee Award and Individual Achievement which includes the Creative Artist Award, Young Ambassador Award, Scholastic Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

"This annual award supported by Majlis Perkhidmatan Masyarakat Sabahor (MPMS) is very encouraging and meaningful as it will motivate the deaf. I have noted in the programme that the Society will also be honouring some of the employers who have been consistently providing job opportunities for the deaf over the years. My salute to all these employers for their effort has certainly helped the deaf to a great extent."

Shafie, thus, urged more companies in the State to emulate the good example of these esteemed corporate organisations and do something needful to fulfil their corporate social responsibility by assisting the deaf get employment.

He said this in his speech read out by State Health and People's Wellbeing Assistant Minister Norazlina Binti Arif at the International Deaf Day Celebration 2018 "Deaf Festival", organised by the Sabah Society for The Deaf, near Lintasan Deasoka, here, Sunday.


Shafie also expressed support for the setting up of a higher secondary school to provide Form 4 and 5 classes for deaf students in Sabah.

"I am concerned to hear the speech by association President Bernard Tondubah that there is presently no Form 4 and 5 classes for deaf students in Sabah and that, after completing Form 3, they have to go to West Malaysia for further studies. The only choice available is Kolej Vokasional Keningau which offers only limited courses for deaf students."

Noting the matter has been brought up by the association to the previous Government for quite some time with no result, Shafie said he was informed the matter had been brought to the attention of State Health and People's Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wong, and that the association will also meet with the Minister of Education and Innovation, Datuk Dr Yusuf Yacob, shortly to submit a memorandum to him on these issues.

"I fully support your petition to set up a higher secondary school to provide Form 4 and 5 classes for deaf students in Sabah so that they will be given equal opportunities for education as normal hearing students."


Shafie said he was made to understand the International Deaf Day Celebration aimed to create public awareness on deafness and promote understanding of deaf issues and to mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of deaf.

"This event also showcases their talents and skills as well as provide an opportunity for cultural exchange, fellowship and networking among the deaf community so they can build up self-esteem, self-confidence and self-reliance."

He said the theme of this celebration, "With Sign Language, Everyone is Included", was most appropriate because it emphasised on the importance of using sign language for better understanding and better communication with the deaf. - Neil Chan

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