Newly minted Workers’ Party (WP) members of parliament Gerald Giam and Jamus Lim promised to help make Singapore more inclusive for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), after having a virtual discussion with members of the PWD community.
Over the past weekend, the WP politicians took part in a dialogue with several members of the PWD community over the Zoom video conferencing platform. The pair interacted with Singaporeans who are visually impaired and those who had severe physical disabilities caused by muscular dystrophy and injuries, besides meeting a former executive director of a disability NGO.
Recounting the “eye-opening” discussion in a Facebook post published on Monday (17 Aug), Mr Giam said: “I was inspired by their sheer resilience in overcoming life’s hurdles! From their testimonies, it was clear that while Singapore has made progress over the years in providing resources for the PWD community, we still have some way to go in giving PWDs equal opportunities to succeed in life.”
Asserting that a “whole nation effort” involving the government, employers, schools and citizens is required to give PWDs equal opportunities to success, Mr Giam said that he and Mr Lim promised the participants that they will work to understand the challenges PWD face and propose solutions to make Singapore more inclusive.
Inviting members of the PWD community to reach out to him personally to provide feedback, Mr Giam wrote on Facebook: “We promised our participants that we will continue to listen to feedback from them and the wider PWD community.
“We want to understand your challenges better and propose solutions to make Singapore a more inclusive society. If you are a PWD with experiences to share, do write them in the comments below or reach out to me via WhatsApp at 89250747.”
Jamus Lim and I had a very eye-opening Zoom dialogue with several members of the persons with disabilities (PWD)…
Mr Giam, a former WP Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, contested his third election as an opposition candidate when he was fielded as part of the WP’s team for Aljunied GRC in the 2020 general election, after two incumbent WP MPs stepped down from the ward.
Although opposition legend Low Thia Khiang and star candidate Chen Show Mao were absent from the new WP Aljunied team, the opposition party was re-elected with a resounding mandate of nearly 60 per cent – their best result since they first won the ward in 2011.
Mr Lim, an economist, was elected at his first round in electoral politics. The new candidate was part of the WP’s four-man team for the new Sengkang GRC and won the ward in a historic upset, unseating three prominent ruling party politicians.