DAP offers help to UIA  in Ermiza’s case and affirmative action programmes to ensure persons with disabilities can fully participate in social life and national development

Media Comment 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Thursday): I have today sent a fax to the Rector of Universiti Islam Antarabangsa, Professor M. Kamal Hassan, commending  UIA for agreeing to re-admit Nik Nor Ermiza Rozana Mustaffa, 20, who was earlier forced to reject the offer of a place at UIA to continue her higher studies.

Ermiza, who stands at only 94 cm, and who was born with other physical disabilities, had earlier been told by the UIA  authorities that  they could not assure her that she could have the environment to study well as there are no facilities or personnel  in the UIA to assist her with her disabilities.  

DAP MP for Batu  Gajah, Fong Po Kuan, a graduate from UIA, was one of the first to champion Ermiza’s right to a place in UIA despite her physical disabilities. Ermiza obtained five principals in last year's Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and was offered a place by UIA earlier to read Syariah law.

In my fax to the  UIA Rector, I urged all  universities to  have an affirmative action plan or  programme in line with the  World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 37th regular session on 3 December 1982 to equalize educational opportunities for the disabled in full recognition of their human rights and to ensure  their full participation in social life and national development through the provision of active intervention and specialized services.

I said Fong Po Kuan and the DAP leaders are prepared to help out in any way not only with regard to Ermiza’s case but the whole question of creating greater public awareness about the need for affirmative action programmes for persons with disabilities to achieve equalization of educational opportunities particularly in the public universities.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman