MONDAY, MARCH 25, 1991


By Anne Haslam

IPOH, Sun. - The shortage of production operators has increased demand for the physically handicapped to work in factories in Perak.

Sultan Idris Shah Foundation for the Disabled chairman Tan Sri V. Jeyaratnam said last year 30 factories had offered jobs to the disabled.

"So far this year, nine factories have requested for physically handicapped workers to fill vacancies."

"This augurs well for the future of the disabled," said Tan Sri Jeyaratnam.

"It indicated the factories recognise that such people can also contribute positively to society," he said.

The organisation recently helped place 12 physically handicapped workers in furniture, garment, plastic and glove factories here.

They are involved in the production assemblyline, furniture-making and clerical duties. One of them has also been employed as a security guard and another as a cashier with a club.

Tan Sir Jeyaratnam said most of the 12 who obtained jobs with the foundation were polio victims.

"Only their legs are affected. They are able to use their hands to do the tasks given to them," he said.

Tan Sri Jeyaratnam said in some cases the foundation had in the past arranged transportation for workers who faced problems commuting to their place of work.

Checks with factories, which have employed the physically handicapped, showed their performance was not lacking when compared to others.

They are also being paid the same wages and considered like other normal workers.

A leading glove factory here, Safeskin Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd, is employing six physically handicapped workers on its production line.

Its personnel manager K. Nagappen said the workers were coping well and did not face any problems.

A toy manufacturing factory in Sri Manjung, Mattel (KL) Sdn Bhd, is employing four physically handicapped workers, trained by the Manjung Welfare Association for the physically disabled.

The four were also said to be coping well and were able to perform their tasks with little problems.