The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is committed in making a reality of a centre that will accommodate the People with Different Abilities Welfare Council, MKOKU together with all associations that looks after the welfare of People with Different Abilities, OKU. The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports stated this at the Forum in conjunction with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebration yesterday morning.

Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin stressed on the continued commitment of all stakeholders to come up and implement creative ideas in the empowerment and well-being of the OKU including the improvement of programmes provided at Pusat Bahagia. Apart from that, Yang berhormat explained, the Youth Development Centre has also planned programmes specifically for the OKU, aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for them starting this year.

Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan in his speech said that the government's commitment at the international level to fight for the rights of the OKU has been proven when Brunei Darussalam ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 11th of April 2016. This is a sign to the world that the country is always committed towards the OKU and is continuously making efforts to involve them in the country's development. Therefore, by taking advantage of the whole of nation approach, Yang Berhormat called on the public to work together in providing more meaningful platforms and opportunities for the OKU in nation development, especially their involvement in the world of employment. Also important is the registration of the OKU which is critical in helping the government and stakeholder agencies to set up suitable programmes and facilities for the OKU. Based on the latest statistics from the Community Development Department, the number of registered OKU to date is 6 thousand 5 hundred and 6 people.

The forum entitled Empowering Persons with Different Abilities Through Involvement and Equality was discussed by 4 panel members namely Awang Haji Ali Yusri bin Abdul Ghafor, Acting Head of Special Education; Doctor Abang Muhd Fahmy bin Abang Hepnie, Head of Rehabilitation Section, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital; Awang Bahri bin Bohari, Education Officer and Dayang Hajah Zaleha binti Haji Abu Salim from Down Syndrome-ABLE Association. The forum among other matters shared the difficulties and challenges faced by the OKU as well as issues related to the OKU. The forum also aimed to raise society's awareness of the responsibility on the equality of the OKU and opportunities to live life the same as the rest of society.

At the function, 9 associations under the MKOKU held an exhibition covering information and activities of the OKU associations with family members and the community.

Source: Radio Television Brunei