UIA should be ashamed of its  proposal that Nik Nor Emilia take distance-learning through Internet which  is a subtle and  refined form of discrimination against the disabled


Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Sunday): I have been informed that Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) has proposed that Nik Nor Emilia Rozana Mustaffa, 20, take distance learning through Internet instead of joining the university as a full-time student to read Syariah law  because of her physical disabilities. 

The Minister for Women and Family Development, Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, even offered to get a computer and Internet access for Nik Nor Emilia when her financial problems was reported in the media. 

But the proposal that Nik Nor Emilia, who stands at only 94 cm and was born with other physical disabilities, continue her higher education studies through distance learning rather than full university campus life is unacceptable, as it is a subtle and refined form of discrimination against the disabled by segregating them from the rest of the population  and UIA should be ashamed for making such a proposal and Shahrizat ashamed for condoning such subtle discrimination. 

There is a clear need to conscientise the UIA, which cost the Malaysian taxpayers hundreds of millions of ringgit, its administration and the 10,000 students about the right to higher education of the disabled. 

UIA should immediately readmit Nik Nor Emilia as a full-time student and make arrangements among some 7,000 of the women students to work out a programme to provide full-time care to Nik Nor Emilia, as a token of redemption for disregard of the rights and sensitivities of the disabled for higher education opportunities.

(7/7/2002)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman