Special needs people need better job opportunities

, National 2 minutes, 24 seconds


PARENTS and guardians are voicing out the need for better employment opportunities for their special needs children after they have completed their schooling.

Hjh Zainab Buntak said she is concerned with what the future will hold for her 14-year-old granddaughter who has speech delay and learning difficulties.

“I have a lot of hope for my granddaughter. But we also know the challenges that she face, but many others may not (understand).

“We worry about her. I do not want her to go walking around shops looking for jobs when she finishes school because I am afraid that people will take advantage of her,” added the Lambak Kiri Landless Indigenous Citizens Housing Scheme resident.

The grandmother said better employment opportunities are needed for special needs people in Brunei, “where they can find jobs without being judged or taken advantage of”.

Hjh Zainab was speaking on the sidelines of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s kurnia peribadi or personal gifts presentation ceremony at Istana Nurul Iman.

Her granddaughter, Munirah Naqibah Zulhapri, was one of the 10,901 people who received the cash gift yesterday.

Echoing Hjh Zainah’s sentiments was Atika Awang Damit, whose 15-year-old son was also diagnosed with speech delay and learning problems.

The Kg Delima Satu resident said she worries about her son’s future.

As the only child, Mohd Saiffuddien Hafiz is studying at Lambak Kiri Secondary School in a pre-vocational Year 10.

A report quoting Deputy Minister of Education Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bahar earlier this year said 230 special needs students were able to find jobs after completing the pre-vocational programme since 1999.

Mohd Saiffuddien Hafiz also learns religious knowledge education at the Berakas Garrison Religious School.

“I want my son to be independent. We want him to be able to care for himself.

“We saved the entire money that my son had received over five years. The money will only be used for his future. I would like to express my gratitude to His Majesty for the personal gift for my son,” she added.

The mother said her son has been receiving the monarch’s cash gift since he was 10.

Meanwhile, members of the Association for Paraplegic and Physically Handicapped People of Brunei Darussalam (PAPDA) also expressed their gratitude after receiving their cash gifts.

Wheelchair-bound Hj Ismail Ibrahim, 84, extended his appreciation to Their Majesties for their attentiveness towards the welfare of people here.

Alhamdulillah, I would like to express my gratitude to His Majesty as well as to Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha as we have a royal family who remembers the people.

“They are very good to us and are always concerned with our welfare,” Hj Ismail continued.

He said most of the monetary gift will go to savings rather than for the upcoming Hari Raya celebrations.

The Brunei Times