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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Letter to NST

AHMAD IKMAL ISMAIL
NAIB KETUA UMNO BAHAGIAN JERAI

WELFARE AID DENIED FOR HAVING ASTRO?

I was appalled when I saw the front page and the ensuing news coverage in the NST today. To quote the NST, “The Welfare Department has a ruling that bars the disabled from getting welfare aid if they have a television set or Astro at home. The rule even applies if one stays in someone else’s house, temporarily or otherwise”.

I could not believe my eyes when I read the story. I believe this particular ruling (if at all justifiable) was made quite awhile back when Astro was seen as a luxury item and was more expensive than it is now. However, given the developments and progress the network and the country have charted in recent years, Astro is no more expensive nor a luxury item. Television is a necessity more than anything now to receive news and information.

Television or Astro services do not only serve as tools to keep the disabled company at home or a diversion for the disabled who could not do work as mentioned by the Disabled Persons’ Integrated Family Services (Kioku). Television or Astro channels such as TV1, TV3, Astro Awani, Bernama News, CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera to name a few have become a way for these people to access and keep abreast on news and events that are happening all over the world including those that happen in Malaysia.

More so, television and Astro channels such as National Geographic, TVIQ, Discovery and Discover Science channels are what we call as “knowledge based programmes”. These programmes are beneficial not only to the disabled but to all viewers. It would be absurd to think that just because one is disabled or receiving welfare aid, then one must not have any TV or Astro that could help him or his children learn more than just in a classroom setting.
In this regard, television and Astro have evolved from being just for entertainment to a more comprehensive tool including to teach, disseminate information and to give knowledge to the viewers.

We must move away from the mindset of wanting to help those in need “just enough to survive” but find ways and means to assist those in need to “survive and live their lives properly”. We must ensure that these people with their children be given a chance to fight their way out of poverty or the welfare group.

The issue highlighted by NST might just be the tip of the iceberg. There might be many more such rulings or practices in this ministry or other ministries that have problems of the same nature. I strongly urge this ministry to revoke this ruling. The cabinet should also direct all ministries to set up a committee tasked to review other rulings and practices that could be archaic in nature and irrelevant to present times.

We must change with times, and we must change to be people oriented in the Government’s service for the rakyat.


Ahmad Ikmal Ismail
Naib Ketua UMNO Jerai

9 comments:

rem said...

assalamualaikum naib ketua,
i am not sure how much astro costs now in kl (i live in spore lah tuan).
but if it costs rm80-rm100 or so a month, i think the welfare dept could be right. kan lebih baik buat beli makanan?

but for tv, i agree with u, as long as it is not sony lcd 40inch hd-ready with woofer.
if it is merely a 21 inch old tv that some neighbour gave away, i dont think the welfare dept should deprive them of some entertainment. takkanlah tengok gerakhas atau bersamamu pun salah?

Ahmad Ikmal said...

It costs about RM49.95 a month to get Astro. Basic channels with enough information. Installation and decoder is a one off cost that vary from one contractor to another. However, looking at some signs put up for promotions, it is a one off cost of about RM50 also. To pay a monthly RM50 to give information and learning material for the children along with adding some colour in people's life is quite ok.

At the bare minimum should be a tv as you rightly said Rem. Yang 40 inch LCD tu hanya rich people living in singapore who have forgotten kawan kawan dekat Kl macam you aje Rem (or is it a full home theatre for you bro). So when is lunch on you?

Anonymous said...

This is why pople are angry with the Government. Silly rules that are outdated that cause greater inconvenience rather than helping people.

Continue with these rules and BN will surely lose PRU 13. You should voice this out to the BN Government and tell them when they are wrong. That is if you really want to save BN.

But then, you might lose your post when you continue to voice out. The powers that be might not like you.

Continue to do the right thing. Even if the higher ups don't like you, you know that the rakyat are thankful for what you do.

akusayangumno said...

Salam,

Trough my experienced, Astro will simply charge extra cost without explaining the detail and even you choose a basic plan yet they still can charge you some extra cost especially to less knowledge client.

Bro, you can ask the majority of people that staying at PPRT Paya Nahu that subscribing ASTRO but at the same time refuse to pay the rent to authority. Why? If the bill is unpaid at the exact time, Astro will automatically stop their service while authority couldn't take any action base on humanities. One of my friend also faced the same problem to his house that he rent it to his tenant. The tenant could entertains Astro's bill at every month but always missed to pay the rent when month ended.

And I think don't think this poor people will subscribe the informative channel as a primary channel, but no doubt they will subscribe an entertainment channel such as bollywood base channel to entertain their them as escapism.

Believed me.

Rantong said...

Salam ziarah. Sekadar pemberitahuan demi kesejahteraan hidup.

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Haris Angel said...

this is an extract of a report by an independent journalist which shows that the Election Commission is just PRO BN! If you support this report, please cut and paste on every group in Facebook. Thank you.

"The same views have been echoed by no less than the Election Commission (EC). Plus, the EC has openly supported proposals by some BN leaders such as Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Tan Keng Liang to prevent "unnecessary" elections. These include suggestions for stricter laws, and penalties for elected reps or their parties should an elected representative resign for reasons other than what's stated in Article 48(1) of the Federal Constitution."

http://www.thenutgraph.com.my/funding-democracy-the-bn-way

vanhidayat said...

salam abg ikmal...
i'm on your side,and it's true astro cannot be labeled as luxury item nowadays...
the right to gain info and education should not be stopped no matter how a person may look like...
by denying their right for having another right is just not right..
the way you think abg ikmal is the right way of being a "pejuang"... but i do believe sometimes we have to let our voice to be heard so that the authority will take us more seriously...

DukeOfUMNO said...

Salam Bro...

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anaklangkawi said...

Bro..
My opinion is the same as some of the people out there..
Astro is consider a un-nessary luxury.. by having astro it means that the family is wealth enough to maintain their watching TV appetiete..
for me if these ppl consider fit to be help.. what about the ppl who does not have astro?
do they fall under the 'miskin' category?..