All applicants are required to write Inception Report which covers following topics. It should be typewritten on A4 size paper, between 5 to 10 pages. Please submit it together with the Nomination Form to the JICA local office or the Embassy of Japan and also send it by e-mail to, the training officer, JICA Tokyo International Center. Make sure to bring the report to Japan by data in floppy disks, USB memory sticks, or CD-ROMs.

1. General Information

(1) Total population:

23,953,136 (July 2005 est.) 1.01 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

(2) Total land area:

329,749 sq. km

(3) Population of persons with disabilities

a) Total number of persons with disabilities :

150,617 persons with disabilities are registered (Malaysia Community ,Welfare Department, 2004).

According to the World Bank calculations (using a factor of 9.9% disabled persons for High Human Development [HHD] countries), Malaysia would have around 2,200,000 disabled persons in 2000.

b) Persons with disabilities classified by type of disability

Registered PWDs Department of Social Welfare 2000

Physical Disabilities 33,559
Mental Impaired 33,275
Hearing Impaired 17,692
Visual Impaired 13,743
Multiple disabilities 183
Total 98,452
c) Persons with disabilities classified by age

not available for total population

d) Persons with disabilities classified by cause

not available for total population

e) Persons with disabilities classified by gender

not available for total population

(4) Definition of disability

According to the United Nations Standard Rules on the equalization of Opportunities for Persons with disabilities: The term “disability” summarizes a great number of different functional limitations occurring in any population in any country, of the world. People may be disabled by physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, medical conditions or mental illness. Such impairments, conditions or illnesses may be permanent or transitory in nature.

(Source: Disabled People’s Association Singapore, 2006)

In the Malaysian context: The definition of handicap during the census of 2000 was referred as: “Persons who experience losses, changes or abnormality either physically, body structure, nervous system, functions of an organ and mental or physical disability. It may happen before or after childbirth either on temporary or permanent (defined as handicap for more than 6 months). The condition either fully or partially hinders the social and community needs of an individual in terms of the cultural and physical environment.”

The types of disabilities included in the census were as follows: Sight, Hearing, Speech, Limbs and Mental.

(Source: Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), 2005)

(5) Major laws and regulations concerned with persons with disabilities (Name/ Title, legislated year, description)

At present there is no legislation that provides specifically for the protection of the rights of the disabled. The provisions in the existing laws are inadequate and do not deal with the issue of disability comprehensively. There is an urgent need for legislation that covers comprehensive guidelines to ensure that all forms of discrimination against disabled people are eliminated. In addition, mechanisms for addressing complaints should be set in place and enforcement officers appointed to ensure that the laws are implemented.

The Ministry of National Unity and Social Development through its Working Group on Legislation headed by En Mah Hassan Haji Omar had drafted a proposed Act to be called the Persons with Disabilities Act to provide the basis for equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities to eliminate discrimination and harassment against them and to promote their full participation as equal citizens of this country.

(Source: 2006

This ACT has yet to be endorsed though it has been proposed since 2002.

(6) Financial assistance for persons with disabilities

The following are some financial benefits for persons with disabilities who are registered at Social Welfare Department:

Transportation: Bus – 50% discount on Transnasional Bus fares Komuter – 50% LRT – 50% discount from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad Aeroplane – 50% discount on MAS domestic fare

Car – 50% discount on National car sales tax for spinally disabled only.

Telekom Malaysia’s Caring Package which gives rent payment exemption on monthly telephone and free 103 Operator call package and awaiting calls/redial.

Inland Revenue Board:
Income Tax reduction for tax-paying People with Disabilities (PWD) or Parents looking after (PWDs).

Social Welfare Department Disabled workers’ allowance – receives RM200 a month for PWD working (income less than RM750 a month).

Custom tax deduction for imported support equipment.

Payment exemption on International Passports

General Pension Department
Published pension to child/ward of deceased civil servant.

Education Department Education allowance – RM25 a month for Primary and Secondary School students. RM25 a month for Community-based Rehabilitation Program students

RM300 a month for students in institute of higher education and polytechnics

Treatment exemption at Hospital and Government clinics only

(Source:Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), 2005)

(7) Disability-related Organizations and Activities

a. Activities by disability-related organizations (self-help organizations / organizations for persons with disabilities)

Some of the activities provided by disability-related organisations include:

  • Early Intervention Programmes
  • Basic Educational Programmes for children in primary and secondary school age.
  • Vocational Training
  • Sheltered workshops
  • Social activities which include regular group social meetings
  • Special Olympics Sport
  • Awareness campaign
  • Advocacy
  • Transportation services (eg: Mobiliti)
b. Cooperation project on disability organized by international and other donors.

There are some collaboration projects with international bodies like JICA, Unicef and World bank.

JICA is the only international organization that is committed to a long term partnership with Malaysia to establish the rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities through programmes such as: training of trainers, providing short term expertise for consultations and training for local services and research that will enhanced the services.

2. Outline of Organization

(1) Background, vision, strategy, activity

United Voice (UV) was first named Self-Advocacy Group and was founded in 1995. UV was sponsored for 10 years by Dignity & Services a Non-Governmental Organisation that advocates for persons with learning disabilities.

UV became the first registered Self-Advocacy Society run by Persons with Learning Disabilities in Malaysia in July 2005. United Voice believes that persons with disabilities have the inherent right to respect for their human dignity. They have the same fundamental rights as their fellow citizens – the right to enjoy a decent life as normal and full as possible.

The committee of UV consists of 9 persons with learning disabilities. All committee members are working in the Open Employment.

The Vision of UV is to help establish as many self-advocacy groups as possible all over Malaysia so that a National Body of persons with learning disabilities will be realized one day to strengthen the voice of persons with learning disabilities in Malaysia.

(2) Major programs, covered geographic areas, and target group (types of disabilities), number of beneficiaries.

United Voice is officially registered as: Self-Advocacy Society of Persons with Learning Disabilities Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

UV is a Multiracial Society. The membership consists of Malays, Indians, Chinese and other races. Currently, there are 30 women and 42 men in the society. UV membership is open to all persons with learning disabilities age 16 and above. However, only those who are 18 and above has voting rights.

The objectives of this Society:

  1. To provide a meeting place for persons with learning disabilities where they help and support each other.
  2. To develop leadership, independent skills and confidence among members so that they can speak for themselves and make their own decision.
  3. To speak and act on behalf of other persons with learning disabilities in Malaysia
  4. To promote self-advocacy and help form self-advocacy groups all over Malaysia
  5. To make the community more aware of the rights, needs and abilities of persons with learning disabilities.
  6. To create employment for unemployed members.
  7. To provide an example to the community of a service run well, for and by persons with learning disabilities.

UV is also actively involved in Special Olympics – bowling, badminton, track and field.

(3) Major problems/obstacles and issues

UV’s major problem is the lack space and finances to expand its objectives to meet the needs of persons with learning disabilities. UV is currently using a rent free premise (one level of a shop-lot) for all its activities and office. UV has yet to establish a stable financial standing.

To date, UV has yet to own a vehicle that can take UV members for activities and events and especially, weekly Special Olympics. Many members are unable to join this activity because there is no transportation for them. Currently, UV is dependent on staffs’ vehicles for all activities.

(4) How many persons with disabilities work in your organization? How much salary they get per month?

UV has two full-time staffs that have learning disabilities: Public Relations Officer: RM620 Assistant Employment Project Coordinator: RM600

UV also employs 15 workers with learning disabilities for its Employment Project – specializes in handmade greeting cards, bookmarks, gift boxes and saori products. These workers work between 2 to 3 days per week. They get a monthly allowance that ranges between RM70 to RM120 based on abilities of each worker. On top of this allowance, they get a yearly bonus that ranges from RM200 to RM1,500 – depending on their productivity and income of the year. All workers are entitled to SOCSO and EPF.

UV has 3 full-time and 1 part-time staffs that are non-disabled.

(5) Financial status

  • UV has about RM50,000 in its Current Account for operating expenses.
  • UV also has RM32,000 in the Fixed-deposit which are funds raised specially for UV building fund by Dignity and Services.
  • UV does not have any reserved funds yet. The Society is making effort this year to develop this fund to create financial stability.

UV has only been independent from Dignity and Services for less than a year. It depends on public donations for the running of the society. UV is still in the process of appealing of government support.

(6) Type of your organization (residential or non-residential)


(7) Your position and responsibility

I am employed as the Coordinator of UV. My responsibilities include:

  • Working closely with the committee of United Voice (all persons with learning disabilities) – by being their advisor.
  • Overseeing the running of the society and its projects
  • Conducting training on leadership and self-advocacy
  • Coordinating events and promotions
  • Liaising and networking with government sectors and NGO bodies.
  • Fundraising

3. Support System for employment of persons with disabilities

(1) Necessity, objectives and goals of vocational services

Vocational services are essential for persons with disabilities. In Malaysia where there are so few opportunities for persons with disabilities to advance in the mainstream institutions. Vocational services are the only option for most of them. These services aimed to train them to be more independent and prepare them for open employment. Some, however, would just progress on to sheltered/vocational workshops if they are unable to find a job in the open employment. Without vocational services, many persons with disabilities may be stuck at home after primary and secondary education.

(2) Major problems and obstacles that your country is facing for the above mentioned goals

The Malaysian Special Education lacks pre-vocational and effective vocational training. At the moment, the government is unable to provide sufficient Vocational Training Centres to meet the demand of all types of disability groups. Vocational training programs are heavily dependent on NGOs. However, most NGOs lack funds, expertise and suitable environment. Most centers are lack of trained staff.

(3) The respective roles of government, NGOs and residents (people in the community)

There is a need for:

  • More allocation of funds by the government to established professional vocational training
  • Expertise and research to strategize the vocational programs for persons with disabilities.
  • More qualified staffs are needed to be involved in the vocational services – a long term strategy to encourage more students to consider Pyschology, Social, Special Education or Paramedic courses is necessary. Salary of human resource in this field has to be re-examined to create more incentives.
  • More practical training is needed for current human resource in this field.
  • Better collaboration between government, NGOs and community to improve the current situation.

4. Situation of the employment of persons with disabilities

(1) Employment status

a) What kind of works are currently available for PWDs in your country? (by category of disability types)

Some physical disabled, visual, hearing and speech impaired are able to secure jobs in professional and open employment like any non-disabled people.

For person with learning disabilities, it is near impossible for them to hold any professional jobs because of their intellectual inhibition. Most of them who are working in the open employment usually end up working as:

  • Factory production operators,
  • General clerks or office assistances
  • Waiters or waitresses
  • Launders or laundresses
  • Supermarket, Petrol station or Shop Attendants
  • Kitchen helpers in restaurants
  • Cleaners
  • Or any jobs that does not require much communication or interpersonal skills.
b) How much is the average salary? (per month)

Between RM400 to RM600

c) Is there any difference in employment rate or salary by type of disabilities?

In my observation, persons with learning disabilities often earn less than other disability groups.

(2) Vocational rehabilitation

a. Explain briefly about vocational rehabilitation in your country

In my observation, majority of the vocational rehabilitation services in Malaysia lack resources and professionalism.

b. Do persons with disabilities receive vocational rehabilitation? If not, what are the reasons?

Not all have the privilege. It is not legislated that pre-vocational is compulsory for persons with disabilities above the age of 14 as practiced in countries like the United States. And there are not enough vocational training centres for school leavers. Transition program from school to vocational rehabilitation is weak.

5. Needs Assessment

(1) Preliminary analysis on problems Based on relevant cases of the support activities for the employment of persons with disabilities in your country, analyze strength and weakness of the current approach and identify problems.

The following comments are based on personal observation:

There are NGOs that are pro-active in addressing the needs and strife for excellence within the limited resources available. The government has invested more effort and financial resources to improve the rehabilitation services.

The lack of funds and human resources often stifle the move towards professionalism amongst the NGOs run center.

The Community Rehabilitations Centres in particular are catered for a wide range of disabilities and age group. There is no specialization and the services lack focus. The environment of these centers is usually not conducive for effective learning and often run as day care centres instead of practicing Individualised Educational Programs. The centres seemed to be at the mercy of the community – such charity based programs may not have consistency in its practice.

Not sufficient funds are allocated for the development of vocational rehabilitation nationwide. For example, funds allocated for employment of care givers are limited. Low salary deters the employment of qualified staff.

(2) Expected outputs of this program In relation to identified problems, set your expected outputs of this training program, which shall be attained at the end of the program.

I have heard many positive comments about the rehabilitation services in Japan. Being a developed nation, I believe Japan has progressed very much ahead of Malaysia in terms the rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. I expect to learn from an established model that practice professionalism and excellence services for persons with disabilities. Besides the know-how, in the establishment, I expect to learn about the legislations that perhaps have helped the services in Japan to progress. Legislations protect the rights of persons with disabilities and ensure that they have equal opportunities and life with quality.

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