Outreach 56 by wuzhengqin


Issue No. 56                Permit No. PP 7594/08/200(02555)                                     July – September 2009

                             Editorial Board                                                                       2

         President           Announcements                                                                         2

    Dato’ S. Kulasegaran     Unforgettable Memories Part I                                                         3
                             By Nicholas Lam

                             Support Our Cause                                                                     4
   Godfrey Ooi Goat See      Special Announcement                                                                  4

   B.A. (Hons.), Dip Ed.     Inclusive Education Part III                                                          5
                             By Senator Datuk Dr. Ismail bin Mohd. Salleh

                             News From The Malaysian Association For The Blind                                     9
      Produced by
    THE NATIONAL             You Are Blind – Can You Go To Pulau Ketam?                                            2
                             By Eddy Chong Ted Hin
   BLIND, MALAYSIA           Outreach Care, Tactile Skills And Embossed Materials For The Blind Part III           4
                             By Moktar Soon

      94B Jalan Tun          Technology Update: The KNFB-Reader Mobile                                             6
  Sambanthan, Brickfields    By Moses Choo Siew Cheong

 50470 KUALA LUMPUR          What I Have Learnt About Management And Strategy                                      8
                             By Barnabas Lee Ah Guan

     Tel : 03-22724959       A Point To Ponder: Who Is Winner?                                                     20
                             By Wong Kow
     Fax : 03-22724960
                             The Big Difference                                                                    22
                             By Daud M. Amin
    ncftb@po.jaring.my       The Strength Of A Man                                                                 23

                             Tips For A Better Life                                                                23

                             Principal Office-bearers And Council Members Of NCBM For 2008 - 2010                  24

        A quarterly          Chairpersons Of Committees Of NCBM For 2008 - 200                                    25

   publication of NCBM       Representatives Of NCBM To Other Organisations, 2008 - 200                           25

                             Earn Some Extra Cash                                                                  28

    EDITORIAL               ANNOUNCE-
     BOARD                    MENTS
•    Moses Choo           SPECIAL AWARD FOR
                                                               It’s easy to make
                          ACTIVE BLIND READERS
•    Wong Kwee Heong
                          The MAB library will be selecting
•    Ivan Ho Tuck Choy    five active blind readers each
                          month starting from , June, 2009.
•    Chan Yin Fan         This is just one of the measures     a buck. It’s a lot
                          taken to encourage and increase
                          the number of blind readers.

       IF YOU KNOW        In addition, staff of the MAB
                          library will from June st onwards
       OF ANY BLIND       be working on shift hours. This      tougher to make a
                          means that the library will now
     PERSON NEEDING       be open from 8 am to 5:30 pm,
                          including lunch hour from :00 to
    REGISTRATION FOR      2:00 pm.
      EDUCATION OR                                                difference.
                                 Choose your
                                 pleasures for
                           yourself, and do not

       Te: 03-2272 4959                                        Tom Brokaw, US
                           let them be imposed

                                   upon you.

       Te; 03-2272 2673     Lord Chesterfield
          03-2272 2677

                    UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES
                             Part I
                                                 By Nicholas Lam
                                       called Wah Loong. This turned         me to the Home because I was
                                       out to be a very good experience      overaged. We were advised to
                                       for me. I learned to feed chickens,   go back to Kampar to have me
                                       draw water from a well, and look      registered with the State Social
                                       after a flock of pigeons (which       Welfare Department. The Welfare
                                       often became tasty morsels for our    Officer was very friendly and
                                       meals). In particular, baby pigeon    he said that there should be no
                                       cooked in herbs were supposed to      problem getting me admitted.
                                       be good for my eyes.
Editor’s Note: Nicholas Lam                                                  Soon a letter came to call me for
(totally blind) has worked for St.     In the meantime, my concerned         an interview. I was asked to say
Nicholas Home for four decades.        mother consulted all kinds of         the alphabet and then to count the
He would like to share with us         gods and mediums in order to find     number of rungs on the ladder of a
his personal experiences and           a cure for my eyes. Prayer papers     toy fire-engine. Somehow I passed
unforgettable memories through         were burned and mixed in water        and was told that I could start on
a series of short articles. Here is    for me to drink. Sometimes holy       July st 959. I would be given
the first of his articles.             water was given to me and I had       a trial period of one month. Thus
                                       to run it on my eyes three times      began my life as a blind person
THE BEGINNING                          a day. While hoping for divine        and my intimate association with
                                       intervention, my mother also took     St. Nicholas Home.
Looking back, when I became blind      me to see specialists in Ipoh and
some four decades ago, I thank         Kuala Lumpur. Nothing seemed          It was a bright sunny morning
God I was given the opportunity        to work and eventually cataracts      when we arrived at Jalan Bagan
to receive an education; it enabled    began to set in.                      Jermal. The bus had dropped us
me to acquire skills that would                                              off at the stop after St. Nicholas.
last me a lifetime and it also gave    One day, a distant relative from      So we had to walk back for quite
me unforgettable memories.             Penang paid a visit to my aunt.       a distance. On the way, I saw
                                       She suggested that I go and see a     many houses with rambutan trees
I contracted meningitis at the age     specialist who was supposed to be     full of the red hairy fruit. I had
of eight just as I was going on to     the best in the country, Dr. Wong     never seen so many rambutans
standard two. The fever damaged        Poh Lam. Thus, I underwent            in one place. Later, I discovered
my iris and optic nerve. When          surgery in early 959 but it was      that St. Nicholas had even more
I returned to school after my          unsuccessful. Fortunately, Dr.        rambutan trees and of different
illness, I had difficulty seeing the   Wong knew of St. Nicholas Home        varieties too.
blackboard and floaters appeared       and wrote a letter of introduction
in front of my eyes in the form of     and recommendation.                   You may not believe it – I was
black dots. Thus, I had to leave                                             put in the kindergarten class at
school.                                We visited the Home and met           the age of ten. I could not speak
                                       Miss Kelly together with Audrey       English and so I used Cantonese
To protect me from the dangers of      Lam as the interpreter. I did not     to communicate with everyone – I
playing on the streets, my mother      know their names then, of course;     particularly remember speaking
decided to send me to stay with        neither do I recollect what was       with Muniandy and Ah Guan.
my aunt in a Chinese kampong           said in the interview. It seems
                                       there was a problem in admitting      I was fascinated with the idea of

having so many toys. I never had
any real toys before. My favourite
was the merry-go-round. There
were three iron horses affixed to a
                                          SUPPORT                              SPECIAL
central pole. All one had to do was
to step on the pedal and the horses
                                         OUR CAUSE                            ANNOUNCE-
would go round and round. One                                                   MENT
day Miss Kelly saw me playing
                                      The National Council for the
with the horses and said that I was
                                      Blind,      Malaysia      (NCBM)
too big for them. I thought I was                                           Readers are reminded that
                                      provides a vital link between
just a skinny little kid.                                                   their contribution of articles,
                                      the organisations serving the
                                      blind in this country by acting as    suggestions and jokes are most
One month went by very quickly                                              welcome for inclusion in “The
                                      the national coordinating body.
and I was promoted to standard                                              NCBM Outreach”.         However,
                                      Through NCBM, the organisations
one. I was very fortunate to                                                please note that it would be very
                                      for and of the blind have a channel
have Miss Ruth Mohan as my                                                  helpful to the Editor if such
                                      to discuss and formulate national
teacher. She gave me special                                                contributions could be submitted
                                      policies and plans and to pioneer
tuition in English and Braille in                                           either on diskette or on single-
                                      new programmes for the benefit
the afternoons. I learned quickly                                           sided Braille pages to facilitate
                                      of the blind.
and later she presented me with                                             editing.
my very first Braille book, “The
                                      Your financial support will,
Little Red Hen”. I kept the book                                            For details of payments, please
                                      therefore, go a long way in
for a very long time but I think it                                         see the last page.
                                      helping to bring about new
got lost when my parents moved
                                      developments and progress for
                                      the blind. All contributions are
                                      deeply appreciated.                         IF YOU KNOW
After five months I was promoted
to standard two. Miss Mohan
                                      Donations should be made in the
                                                                                 OF ANY BLIND
remained as my teacher and she
                                      name of the National Council for          PERSON NEEDING
continued to give me lessons in
                                      the Blind, Malaysia. Address:            REGISTRATION FOR
English and Braille contractions.
                                      94-B Jalan Tun Sambanthan                  EDUCATION OR
New toys were also provided.
What I loved best were the
                                      Brickfields                               REHABILITATION,
                                      50470 KUALA LUMPUR
mechano sets made of metal and
                                      Tel: 03-2272 4959
                                                                              PLEASE CONTACT US
of wood. I enjoyed making some                                                   IMMEDIATELY
                                      Fax: 03-2272 4960
models of cars and trucks. Some
were put on the long cupboard in
the class-room as exhibits.                                                             NCBM
One day Miss Mohan presented
me with my first skipping rope                                                    Te: 03-2272 4959
and I skipped my way to standard


                                                                                  Te; 03-2272 2673
                                                                                      03-2272 2677

                          INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
                                PART III
                                     By Senator Datuk Dr Ismail bin Mohd. Salleh
                                         Malaysian Association for the Blind

Editor’s Note: The second part         registration has been raised                education will be provided for
of this article appeared in the        time and time again without                 the blind. All the various kinds
April – June 2009 issue of “The        any positive results so far – but           of education programmes have
NCBM Outreach”. So far Dr              we should not give up making                their respective roles to play in
Ismail Salleh has touched on           this recommendation to the                  meeting the needs of the blind for
the role of the Special Education      government once more. As the                education. Thus, all the different
Division in bringing about             current registration of the disabled        education systems currently in
inclusive education programmes         is on a voluntary basis, a huge gap         practice in the country should be
for the disabled in Malaysia.          remains with regards to the number          allowed to exist. This will enable
He has also shown how the              of estimated blind persons in the           parents and blind students to have
New Education Policy (2001-            country compared to the number              choices with regards to the kind
2010) initiated by the Malaysian       of blind persons registered with            of education that best suits their
Government and the programme           the Welfare Department. This is             needs. This means that adequate
of “Education for All” introduced      also true with respect to the official      attention should be given to all the
by the International Council           statistics concerning the number            programmes in terms of resource
on Education for the Visually          of blind persons in other countries         allocation for development of
Impaired (ICEVI) are able              in the East Asian region.                   facilities and the promotion of
to influence the development                                                       personnel.
of inclusive education for the         It is important to build up a
disabled in the country.               statistical database on the disabled        With regards to integrated
                                       (including the blind). This data            education, we are happy to note
In third part of this article, Dr      should be made available to the             that a number of them are still
Ismail Salleh indicates what           public for the purpose of planning          surviving since their introduction
is the way forward in order to         and implementation of services              in the 960s in Malaysia. This was
reach all disabled children in         and programmes.             Positive        despite the attempt to close down
the country through inclusive          incentives should be introduced             most of the programmes in the
education. Thus, he continues:         so that the idea of compulsory              990s for the reason of needing to
                                       registration can be implemented             ease management. In fact, some
                                       successfully.                               of the integrated programmes
3. THE WAY FORWARD                                                                 have been able to produce some
                                                                                   of the best blind students over the
In order to meet the challenges        3.2 Opportunities for                       years.
of “education for all” by the year     Education
of 205, the following measures                                                    However, to ensure that the
must be taken.                         Given the limited number of                 integrated programmes can be
                                       places available to blind children          more effective in meeting the
                                       in the residential schools and              needs of the blind for education,
3.1 Building Up a Statistical          integrated    programmes,      the          greater effort should be made in
Database                               government       should      make           providing hostel accommodation,
                                       available more resources so                 well equipped resource centres,
The    issue    of    compulsory       that more opportunities for                 and qualified resource teachers.

At the same time, a good support      community        workers       and     training programme. While good
system should be developed that       volunteers in the education and        qualifications may be necessary,
would include parent support          vocational training programmes,        they will serve little purpose if
groups, capacity-building or skill    can be put into practice through       the staff are not well motivated to
enhancement programmes, and so        these programmes. For example,         impart the knowledge and skills.
on.                                   community workers should be
                                      trained as itinerant resource          An important factor concerning
                                      teachers, thereby promoting the        staff motivation is the need for
3.3 Inclusive Education               concept of inclusive education         recognised certification from the
                                      through the CBR centres. The           relevant authorities. Yet another
In the new philosophy of              effects will be far-reaching and       important factor is the need to
education for the blind, the          will probably speed up the process     pay well motivated and properly
integrated programmes should          of providing “education for all”       qualified staff with commensurate
ultimately give way to the            through inclusive education.           salaries.       Indeed, qualified
inclusive education programmes.                                              and motivated personnel are
Inclusion means many things but                                              essential because they will have
an important element in the new       3.5 Proper Rehabilitation and          the capacity and the capabilities
system is the adopting of the         Vocational Training                    to help in developing more
community approach, i.e. getting                                             challenging and even innovative
the community to understand           More challenging rehabilitation        curricula and in maintaining high
the importance of education for       and       vocational      training     standards among the blind. They
the blind and to enable them          programmes are needed to prepare       will be able to construct proper
to participate in the process         the blind for the increasingly         tests and examinations so that the
of educating the blind. The           demanding job market. To enable        blind students and trainees will be
community means not only the          the blind to live an independent       properly evaluated.
teachers, school administrators       life and to cope effectively with
and sighted students but also the     all kinds of situations when they
parents, villagers and townsfolk.     enter the world of work, they          3.6 Infrastructure and
                                      need to have proper training           Facilities
                                      and opportunities. This means
3.4 Community-based                   not only providing them with           Besides providing adequate
Rehabilitation                        vocational training but they           resources, efforts should be made
                                      should also undergo an intensive       to ensure that such equipment,
There is currently a wide network     rehabilitation programme.       In     facilities and infrastructure are
of CBR programmes established         rehabilitation, the blind should       adapted or modified so that they
throughout      Malaysia,       the   be equipped with the alternative       will be rendered accessible or
majority of them initiated by the     techniques (particularly Braille       useable by the blind. Facilities
government and quite a number         and the use of the white cane)         and resources include specialist
of them started by the NGO’s.         and the living skills (especially      and resource teachers, adaptive
Serious consideration should be       cooking and sewing). They should       computers, Braille textbooks,
given to the idea of using these      also be given the opportunity to       tactile aids, appropriate teacher-
CBR centres more effectively as       have leadership experiences by         pupil ratio, library and Braille
local and regional community          organising certain activities and      production unit, rehabilitation
centres. They should be better        to join adventurous recreational       and counselling service, and
equipped and staffed so that          programmes that would test their       barrier-free streets and buildings.
they can act as educational and       mettle such as rock climbing,          All these contribute towards the
vocational training centres for the   camping and jungle tracking.           idea of providing a conducive
blind and other disabled persons.                                            environment for the blind to
                                      This means that highly motivated       undergo the process of education,
The concept of including the          staff are essential for a successful   rehabilitation and vocational
community,   i.e.   involving         vocational and rehabilitation          training.

3.7 Research and                       for the blind, complete reliance         policies and dynamic programmes
Development                            on the private sector will yield         in order for the change to take
                                       only a limited amount of funds           place.
Many government agencies and           and resources sufficient merely
NGOs do not appreciate the             to maintain existing services and        In Malaysia, for example, the
important role that can be played      programmes. The government, on           Welfare Department has set the
by research and development            the other hand, is after all the chief   good example of employing
in bringing about change and           controller of financial resources        both blind and disabled persons
progress. Besides being a tool of      and programmes through the               at various levels as telephone
evaluation, R & D can also provide     collection of all kinds of taxes.        operators and welfare officers.
opportunities for exchange of          Thus, the government is in a             The     Ministry      of  Human
ideas and sharing of experiences.      position to make more resources          Resources has also promised
                                       available to the blind by providing      to emulate the example of the
The National Federation of the         more generous budgets and grants         Welfare Department by providing
Blind in America is a striking         for the NGOs.                            opportunities for the disabled in
example and probably the only                                                   their special job placement unit.
organisation serving the blind
to have embarked upon the              3.9 Partnerships                         In the case of the Special Education
ambitious project of developing a                                               Division, there is still resistance
world-class research and training      This is also another important           against      employing      disabled
institute. This is because they are    factor to be considered in               persons as officers even if they
aware of the tremendous benefits       implementing effective plans,            have the requisite qualifications.
that R & D can bring through           be it for education or for other         We are hopeful that a more
new discoveries and ideas made         services. Effective partnerships         positive policy will be introduced
possible through the analysis and      are essential not only between           in the not too distant future. We
exchange of information.               the blind and the sighted but also       truly look forward to the day when
                                       between the government agencies          there will be qualified disabled
We should all learn from NFB           and the NGOs as well as between          officers working alongside their
and emulate their good example.        the workers in the blindness field       non-disabled partners in the
I fervently hope that some             and in the community at large.           Special Education Division.
initiatives will be taken to make a
start in the direction that is being   The blind and the sighted must
led by NFB.                            be able to work together as equal        3.10 Legislation
                                       partners at all levels of society.
                                       This means making available              Ultimately, effective legislation
3.8 Budget Allocations from            opportunities for the blind to be        is required in order to lay down
the Government                         partners with the sighted in the         a framework of guidelines,
                                       decision-making process through          incentives or prohibitions with
There is certainly a need for the      meaningful (not merely nominal           the aim of protecting the blind
government to consider a more          or tokenistic) representation and        and other disabled persons from
generous      budget    allocation     participation in various bodies          discriminatory practices. There
to support the education and           and committees.                          is, of course, direct and indirect
training of the blind. More funds                                               discrimination against the blind in
should be made available not           The blind should also have the           all areas of public life, including
only for government agencies           opportunities to be considered for       education, vocational training and
but also for the NGOs which run        employment and for promotions            employment. Thus, the enactment
significant education and training     at all levels and in all departments     of standards through legislation is
programmes.                            if they are properly trained and         important; without laying down
                                       qualified. This, of course, calls for    such processes, nobody will be
If the voluntary sector is             the existing structural and social       encouraged to refer to the proposed
expected to expand and provide a       barriers to be replaced by new           complaints bureau for the disabled
comprehensive network of services

or to the court. With the existence     disabled persons as well. Indeed,
of disability legislation, it will be   they have everything to do with
possible to establish the human         the idea of inclusive education
rights commission for the disabled      which I have tried to espouse in
which could play a significant role     my presentation.                    Women are making
in considering the standards and
processes of settlement.
                                                                             it very clear that
In our country, the Malaysians
with disabilities act was drafted
in 2002. In this connection,                                                 they do not want
we would like to applaud the              It is difficult to say
government for having finally
got the act adopted by parliament                                           to choose between
early this year in 2008. I believe
that with the enforcement of this
act, the way to the future will be        what is impossible,               succeeding at home
much brighter for all disabled
persons in Malaysia, including
the blind.                                                                   or succeeding at
                                            for the dream of
4. CONCLUSION                                                               work. They want to
To conclude, we are very happy
to note that the government of
Malaysia is on the right path            yesterday is the hope                succeed in life.
towards achieving target 205
- the goal of “Education For
All” – with its formulation and
implementation of the new
education policy for the period
                                            of today and the
from 200 to 200. Indeed, the                                                  Dato’ Seri
government has taken a tremendous
leap forward by adopting this new
paradigm shift for education in          reality of tomorrow.                Sharizat Abdul
the country which we believe will
have positive effects for all sectors
of the community, including the                                              Jalil, Minister of

The four important aspects                                                   Women, Family
outlined in the government
education policy are accessibility,
equity, quality, plus efficiency                                             and Community
and effectiveness. Highlighting          Robert H. Goddard
these four general principles
in the new education policy is                                                Development
certainly timely and relevant
not only for the non-disabled
community but for the blind and

             FOR THE BLIND

MENTAL ARITHMETIC                       With proper training and practice     Jalan Batu for their collaborative
PILOT PROJECT                           in using the abacus, blind children   efforts and support.
                                        can ultimately do just as well as
This collaborative project was          sighted children in visualising and
carried out by MAB, the SK Jalan        mastering mathematics.                BOOKS FOR BLIND
Batu, and UC Mas during the first                                             CHILDREN
six months of 2008. The purpose         The three blind students from SK
of this project was to introduce        Jalan Batu were Nur Afiqah bt         The MAB library has received
the abacus and mental arithmetic        Kamaruddin, Chea Min Enn, and         quite a number of children’s
to the blind children at Sekolah        Solan Balakrishnan, all of them in    books from Universiti Pendidikan
Kebangsaan Jalan Batu in Kuala          standard five. The three teachers     Sultan Idris (or UPSI) in Tanjong
Lumpur. It was hoped that with          involved in training the students     Malim, Perak. The books are in
the success of this pilot project,      were Aziz bin Salleh, Hjh Zailina     Bahasa Malaysia with Braille and
the Special Education Section of        bt Sahat, and Eddie Idris bin Din.    print on separate pages. (The twin
the Ministry of Education would         In undertaking this pilot project,    vision books for blind children of
consider introducing this scheme        both the teachers and students had    America have Braille and print on
to all education programmes             accepted the challenge to prove the   the same page).
for blind children throughout           traditional assumptions regarding
Malaysia.                               blind children and mathematics        Such books are very useful to
                                        can be overcome. This project         parents because they are able to
According to Chris Chew, the            may be a small beginning but it       read together with their blind
marketing director of UC Mas,           is the hope of all three partners –   children.
this project had been successfully      MAB, UC Mas and SK Jalan Batu
implemented       among       blind     – that similar projects could be
schoolchildren in Mumbai, India         implemented in other education        MAB CYBER CLUB
in 2006. The Indian government          programmes for the blind.
is considering the idea of                                                    This club membership is open
introducing the abacus and mental       Present at the closing ceremony       not only to the blind but also to
arithmetic to all blind children in     on 28 March 2009 was the Deputy       the staff of MAB as well as the
the country.                            Director of Special Education.        parents and children of the blind.
                                        The ceremony was also attended        The subscription fee is RM2 per
UC Mas has also successfully            by a number of members from           year.
propagated the idea in many other       the Outreach Care and volunteer
countries, especially in the Middle     group of MAB. The Outreach            At the Annual General Meeting
East. They include Egypt, Jordan        Care team had been working very       of the Cyber Club on Saturday, 2
and Sudan. UC Mas is now active         closely with SK Jalan Batu last       March 2009 held in the MAB hall,
in Vietnam with its projects.           year in 2008 to promote various       Yam Tong Woo was elected as
                                        skills among the blind children       the second chairman of the Club.
Traditionally, it has been assumed      there, particularly in indoor games   Indeed, everyone felt deeply
that blind children are poor in         such as dominoes, draughts and        inspired by this man who had
mathematics because they are            othello.                              taken the challenge of shouldering
weak in their visualisation skills.                                           responsibility for the success of
UC Mas would like to prove that         MAB extends very grateful and         the Club over the next two years
this need not be the case any longer.   heartfelt thanks to UC Mas and SK     despite having lost his sight so

recently. He was having some           EMPLOYMENT                           2. Security Officer
business dealings in China last        OPPRTUNITIES FOR THE
year (in 2008) when he suffered        BLIND IN THE K.L. STAR               Job duties include assisting
from food poisoning which led to       RAIL CO.                             disabled persons to purchase
his blindness.                                                              tickets, accompanying disabled
                                       On 7 April 2009, representatives     persons to the platform, and
The first chairman of the Cyber        from the MAB Job Placement Unit      informing security officers in other
Club was Dr Tan Tok Shiong             met with En. Zaki bin Mohamed,       stations to help disabled persons
when the Club was inaugurated in       the Corporate Affairs Manager        at the disembarkation point.
2007.                                  and En. Sulaiman bin Kamal at
                                       the Headquarters of KL Star Rail     Working hours are from 7:00 am
                                       (formerly Monorail). The main        to 3:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to
ENGLISH FOR EX-                        objective of the meeting was to      :00 pm.
TRAINEES                               identify suitable jobs that could
                                       be undertaken by the blind at the    The basic salary is RM,50 per
The MAB Job Placement Unit             Star Rail Co.                        month plus a shift allowance of
has taken the initiative to organise                                        RM0, double pay for public
English language classes for the       Subsequently, the MAB officers       holidays, and triple pay for
blind who are either unemployed        visited the Star Rail work-site on   overtime on public holidays.
or in employment. The first class      6 April and suitable jobs for the
was held on Saturday, 4 March         blind were identified as follows:
2009 with nearly 20 participants.                                           3. Pet Officer
The classes are being conducted        1. Customer Service Ticketing
by Sunbeam, an experienced             Crew                                 Working duties include feeding
English teacher at the Brickfields                                          and watering the pets, changing
College in Kuala Lumpur.               Job duties include selling           the soiled paper with waste,
                                       tickets, providing information to    notifying the supervisor if the
                                       passengers, and reporting to the     pets are ill, and travelling between
MAB GYMNASIUM                          supervisor on the ticket sales of    five stations to carry out the same
                                       each day at the end of each shift.   tasks (at Tun Sambanthan, Hang
A full-time power-lifting coach,                                            Tuah, Bukit Bintang, Titiwangsa
Mr Eng Chow Seng, has been             Working hours are in two shifts      and Bukit Nenas).
appointed to train the blind at the    from 5:30 am to 3:00 pm and from
gymnasium since 2 March 2009.          2:30 pm to 2:30 am.                 Working hours are from 9:00 am
So far five blind persons have                                              to 5:00 pm.
joined the training programme          Workers need to use the ticket
to prepare for national and            machine to insert blank tickets
international competitions.            to produce specific ticket values    EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
                                       for passengers’ requirements.        RAISED WITH THE
In addition, Mr Eng is also            Training for one week and three      SPECIAL EDUCATION
involved in providing coaching         months’ probation are required.      DIVISION
for other blind gym users in fitness
exercises. With the engagement         The basic salary is RM977 per        On      9     February     2009,
of the new coach, the number of        month plus a shift allowance of      representatives from the MAB
gym users has increased quite a        RM0 and an overtime allowance       Job Placement Unit met with the
bit.                                   of RM8. A laundry fee of RM30        director of the Special Education
                                       per month will also be provided      Division of the Ministry of
                                       on confirmation.                     Education. Issues raised included
                                                                            the following:
                                       Benefits include a pass of RM100
                                       per month and 8 days annual

. Placement of blind teachers       5. Special      allowance      for   much gusto and great energy, he
   in schools for persons with          Teachers                          lay down gravel and pebbles for a
   learning disabilities                                                  path leading to the garden which
                                         Currently, this allowance        he appropriately named after him
   There should be a more                is given only to teachers in     as Andrew’s Path.
   effective system to identify          education programmes for the
   blind teachers who should             blind. It should be extended     On Saturday, the second day of
   be channelled to the schools          to blind teachers teaching in    the project, some members of the
   which can make use of their           schools for sighted children     MAB Outreach Care group joined
   skills.                               and in the religious schools.    the SCI members at the Centre.
                                                                          Harun helped to conduct the ping
                                                                          pong competition with Vivian
2. Data-book       on    Teacher     WORLD BLIND BOWLS 2009               Ng, a volunteer, as his linesman.
   Placements                        – MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA               Shirene Tan, together with another
                                                                          volunteer, Amanda, conducted
   This book, which is being         The lawn bowl team from Malaysia     the dominoes competition while
   produced annually, should         (consisting of six blind players)    Nicholas Lam and Godfrey Ooi
   be made available to MAB          managed to grab two gold medals      taught other trainees of the Centre
   in order to facilitate the        for the Women’s and Men’s B         and interested SCI members how
   process of providing them         Singles, one silver medal for the    to play othello and draughts.
   assistance through the MAB        B Mixed Pairs, and one bronze
   Job Placement Unit.               for the B2 Mixed Pairs. This is      In the afternoon everyone joined
                                     a great success when compared        in the sing-along session. The
                                     with the previous blind bowls        trainees had the opportunity to
3. Assistant   Teachers        in    championship in which only two       display their vocal and musical
   Government Schools                bronze medals were brought back      talents. One of the trainees was
                                     to Malaysia. We would like to        a favourite hit as he provided
   Opportunities should be           congratulate both the teams as       his rendition of songs in Tamil
   provided for low vision           well as the team manager, Pn.        and Bahasa Malaysia and played
   persons to be employed as         Sumitha Ramasamy, and the other      along with his guitar.
   assistant teachers.               directors whose efforts had helped
                                     to ensure the achievement and        We extend heartfelt thanks to
                                     success of the Malaysian team.       SCI and the Outreach Care group
4. KPLI Training                                                          for the successful collaboration
   Many blind persons have           COLLABORATION
   found difficulty in being         PROJECT IN TAMAN
   accepted for KPLI training        HARAPAN IN TEMERLOH,
   even after having attended at     PAHANG
   least three interviews. The
   regulations should be relaxed     The Service Civil International
   to make it easier for the blind   (SCI) carried out a gotong-royong
   to gain access to teacher         project at the Taman Harapan
   training (as was done in 998     Agricultural Training Centre of
   when the doors were flung         MAB from  - 3 May 2009. They
   wide open to the blind for        spent two and a half days helping
   teacher training in colleges      to put up some new fencing for
   and universities).                the vegetable patch. One of the
                                     members brought along her young
                                     son with his two elder sisters
                                     to take part in the project. With

                                            By Eddy Chong Ted Hin

Editor’s Note:     Eddy Chong        When I told some sighted friends       decided to have our lunch at Lee
graduated from Universiti Malaya     that I would be making a recce         Wah restaurant – the seafood was
with a diploma in engineering        trip to Pulau Ketam in order to        delicious! We even had a little
in 1987 and obtained further         organise a visiting programme          time for shopping before making
professional qualifications in       for a group of blind persons, they     our way back to Pacific Tours and
2000. While working as an            expressed a lot of doubt and tried     then to the pier.
engineer, Eddy had an attack of      to discourage me. They said that
dengue fever which caused him        there was nothing to see there,        The one-hour trip round the island
to lose much of his sight and        it was dangerous and a waste of        seemed like just a few minutes
hearing ability about twelve years   time. I tried to tell them that I      as we enjoyed the zestful winds
ago in 1997.                         had already organised one trip for     buffeting our hair and our faces. At
                                     some deaf-blind persons but they       last we reached the fish farm and
Eddy became a member of the          ignored my explanations.               disembarked from the tongkang.
Outreach Care Committee and                                                 To our surprise, the farm was on
the deaf-blind group in the          Anyway, I went ahead with my           a floating platform in the middle
Malaysian Association for the        plans. On  February 2009,            of the sea; as the platform moved
Blind (MAB) in 2004. Last year       I made the recce trip with two         gently from side to side, I was
in 2008 he organised a trip to       blind friends and two sighted          reminded of the song, “I feel the
Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) for        volunteers. After breakfasting at      earth move under my feet”.
three deaf-blind persons together    MacDonald’s in KL Sentral, we
with some other blind and sighted    boarded the 0 am KTM train to         The owners of the farm greeted us
volunteers.                          Port Klang. We crossed the sea         warmly and showed us to some
                                     on a ferry and arrived at the island   seats. From the briefing, we
For many, the trip would have        round about noon.                      learned that it would cost about
meant nothing at all. However,                                              RM million to start up such
for the deaf-blind, it was a rare    We went straight to the Sea Lion       a farm. The fish being reared
experience to visit an island one    hotel (the only hotel on the island)   were telapia and garupa and they
had heard so much about but          and asked the manager, Mr Cheah,       could grow to more than three
never had the chance to taste        about the trip to the fish farm. His   feet long and could be as heavy
its fresh salty sea-breezes and      immediate response was, “Why           as five kilogrammes. The fish
sample its delicious seafood.        you want to go there? You just         were enclosed in nets which were
                                     sit here and enjoy yourself.” On       at least ten feet deep, ten feet
With the experience gained, Eddy     our insistence to know how to get      long and ten feet wide. The fish
had plans to organise a bigger       to the farm, he directed us to the     were sold live to customers from
programme for another group of       company, Pacific Tours, which          Hong Kong who would make the
blind persons. He hoped to bring     was just about three minutes’ walk     one-month journey by sea – two
more blind people to the island      from the hotel.                        weeks to Malaysia and two weeks
which would include a visit to the                                          back to Hong Kong. Malaysian
famous fish farm.                    At the company we were told that       customers would not offer such
                                     we could take a junk or tongkang       good prices for the fish.
Eddy Chong describes          his    to the farm and the ticket per
planning experience in        the    head was RM2. Before making           Small dead fish brought from the
following article:                   the trip at 2 pm, however, we          main island were then fed to the

telapia and garupa – you could         catching and they said it would        believed what I told them but they
hear them greedily slirping up         be very difficult because they         said this: “Wah, you blind people
their “prey”. We squatted down         had to go to the marshes and the       must be very special people! We
carefully to feel the nylon nets       mangroves had many overhanging         really respect you!”
which were holding the fish. The       branches. Then, when one of us
owner said that “friends” from the     started speaking in Hokkien, they
wild open sea would often visit the    began conversing with us in the
nets, poking their heads in to kiss    same dialect and we discovered
their cousins who were enclosed        that they were, in fact, Hokkien
within.                                rather than Malay fishermen.
                                                                                  Never let a small
Visitors and tourists could stay       Back at the hotel on Pulau Ketam,
overnight in the chalets where         we refreshed ourselves with
they could do fishing in the deep      thirst-quenching ice drinks. We           problem, even if it
sea by just throwing their fishing     then found out about the rooms
nets and lines over the banister.      available for rental. Each room          looks simple, grow
They had to pay RM60 for one           with four beds would cost RM00
night’s stay but they had to bring     per night. However, the hotel
their own fishing gear. To get to      package would cost about RM95           big until it cannot be
the chalets, we had to walk across     per head (inclusive of room for
a two-foot wide bridge. Some of        four, three meals and the trip to                  fixed.
us were brave enough to take the       the fish farm).
walk of about five feet distance to
cross over to the chalets, praying     Before going home, we did a little
that we would not fall into the nets   more shopping. Someone from
on either side.                        our team discovered some lovely             No matter how
                                       vegetarian ”pow”!
According to the owner, they were                                              difficult a challenge,
planning to construct another fish     I told my sighted friends about the
farm with a much wider bridge of       successful trip. They were truly
at least eight feet so that it would   amazed that blind people like me        it can be overcome if
be much safer to walk across.          could be so daring to take such
This would also cost about RM         risks. “You really went to Pulau         people are prepared
million and would be ready in          Ketam? How can you move
two years’ time. Each of the nets      about – you have to take the train,
enclosing the fish would cost          the boat, cross the sea – it’s so            to collaborate.
about RM,000 each and there           dangerous!”
were about one hundred of such
nets.                                  I replied that one blind lady in the
                                       recce team to Pulau Ketam, Lim
On the way back to the tongkang,       Siew Chong, was so happy that she
we heard some men speaking in          sang all the way in the tongkang
Bahasa Malaysia. We enquired           ride to the fish farm. When I                   Dr Moshe
what they were doing and they          asked her how she was enjoying
replied that they were mending         herself, she said it was real fun.     Rubinstein, Guru of
some crab nets. There were two         “Even though I cannot see the
kinds of nets – the closed nets        beauty, I can enjoy the experience
which could catch two crabs or         in a tongkang and I love to feel the             Strategy
so and the open nets which could       strong wind blowing!” She said.
catch five crabs or more. We asked
whether the blind could go crab-       I am not sure if my sighted friends

                   Part III
                                                By Moktar Soon

Editor’s Note: The second part        blind children to realise that         1. Identifying Objects
of this article appeared in the       Braille and embossed materials         According to Shape, Size,
April – June 2009 issue of “The       were important not only for their      Texture and Dimensions
NCBM Outreach”.           Having      education but also to help them
put forward his views on the          have a much better appreciation        In the first stage, objects of
importance of tactile skills and      of their environment through the       various shapes, sizes, textures and
embossed materials for the blind,     sense of touch.                        dimensions will be provided. The
En. Moktar would now like to                                                 objects could include models of
present a method of teaching                                                 animals, fruits, crockery, mahjong
which could be used to help           OBJECTIVES                             cubes, rice grains, and different
blind children in particular to                                              kinds of balls used in games such
develop the sense of touch more       Thus, I drew up a pre-reading skills   as ping pong, basketball and
effectively through systematic        programme for the blind children       tennis. Exercises will be given
learning. This programme could        with the following objectives in       in recognising the properties of
also be adapted to suit the needs     mind:                                  these objects.
of the adult blind undergoing the
rehabilitation course.                . To help the blind children
                                         develop their sense of touch        2. Creativity and Play
Here is what he says:                    more effectively through
                                         systematic learning.                The next stage is to provide
                                                                             exercises which will encourage
                                      2. To equip them with techniques       the blind children to use their
I was very happy when the MAB            in using the sense of touch to      imagination to create things and
Outreach Care Committee came             identify objects by size, shape     articles by moulding plasticine,
up with the idea of the Saturday         and texture.                        cutting and folding paper, and so
morning programme for blind                                                  on. Games could also be used in
children in 2007 at the Kompleks      3. To enable them to have a            order to maintain their interest.
MAB. My assignment was to help           better comprehension of
the blind children acquire proper        such concepts as dimensions,
techniques in Braille reading and        orientation and positioning in      3. Identifying Natural and
to prepare them for participation        relation to objects.                Artificial Objects
in a Braille reading competition.
                                      STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT                  Variation can now be introduced
In the process of teaching, it                                               by providing the opportunity
suddenly dawned upon me that          The children can go through the        for the children to identify
these blind children were, in fact,   programme in gradual stages of         different types of objects in the
rather poor in their pre-reading      development as follows:                environment outside the building
skills. I had a very strong feeling                                          such as in the garden and along
that they should be given some                                               the roadside.     Objects could
guidance in the acquisition of                                               include trees, leaves, flowers,
pre-reading skills in a systematic                                           the fence, lamp-posts, bus-stops,
manner. This would enable the                                                cars and their number-plates, and

so on. Let them take note of the       touch or read diagrams, charts and      read with their teachers or parents
different shapes, sizes, textures      other embossed graphic materials.       and vice versa. Currently, such
and dimensions. This could then        This means that they should now be      books are not available locally
be followed by a discussion back       able to identify two-dimensional        but they could be purchased from
in the class-room.                     objects on paper.                       the USA, the National Federation
                                                                               of the Blind, in particular, is
                                                                               actively promoting such reading
4. Identifying and Matching            7. Introducing the Alphabet             materials.
Labels                                 through Dot Formations

Braille and embossed materials         In this lesson, we start introducing    9. Introducing Braille Writing
will now be introduced at this         the     alphabet     through      dot
stage. They will be given the          formations. We begin with one-          Having developed some ability in
opportunity to identify objects in     letter combinations, e.g. l plus dot    reading, the blind children are now
a room and to take note where or       4 – p; l plus dot 5 – r; l plus dot 6   ready to be introduced to Braille
how things are placed in the room.     – v. K plus dot 4 – m.                  writing. It would be advisable to
They will then read a floor plan of                                            begin with the Braille slate. In fact,
the room in order to identify and      We could then go on to two-             I believe this skill is essential. In
compare embossed objects in the        letter combinations, three-letter       my view, the Braille slate for blind
plan with real objects in the room.    combinations, and so on.                children is comparable to the pen
Then they will practise identifying                                            for sighted children. Like the pen,
labels on cards and then match                                                 the Braille slate is comparatively
them with or stick them onto the       8. Introducing Reading                  inexpensive, it is so portable, it
relevant objects.                                                              can be used anywhere, and there
                                       All the previous skills taught          is no fear of batteries running
                                       would help to set the stage             flat. Children should be given the
5. Trailing a Straight Line            when the blind children would           opportunity to master this skill
                                       be ready to be introduced to            before going on to the Perkins
This will give them the opportunity    reading. Songs could be used            Brailler at the upper primary
to identify different kinds of lines   to stimulate their interest in the      school level.
in order to discriminate between       Braille alphabet.      Twin-vision
gross and fine lines. They could       books could then be introduced to
vary from lines of six dots to         get the blind children interested in    10. Introducing the Library
single dotted lines which will         ideas through stories and pictures.
include line breaks, short lines and   We could start with books which         Blind children should eventually be
long lines. Games and activities       have one word and one picture           introduced to the library. Various
could be introduced, e.g. making       only. Then we gradually go on           schemes and programmes should
the sound of a car-horn when they      to books with two words and two         be planned in order to make the
come to the end of a line.             pictures and eventually to books        library attractive and interesting.
                                       with simple stories illustrated         These could include competitions
The exercises will also include        by pictures. It is also important       in Braille-reading, story-telling,
the use of horizontal lines of a’s,    for the blind children to practise      and tactile indoor games, book
c’s, x’s and other letters of the      turning the page.                       discussion clubs, book awards,
alphabet. Vertical lines of l’s and                                            exploratory excursions to back up
other letters of the alphabet could    What are twin-vision books?             information read in the books, and
be introduced as well.                 These books would have the              so on.
                                       words in Braille with embossed
                                       pictures on one page while the          All the various book formats
6. Diagrams and Charts                 words and pictures in print would       should be available in the library,
                                       be on the other page. This would        including Braille, large print,
They should now be ready to feel,      make it easy for blind children to      audio and electronic books. The

library should be able to provide
or to produce embossed materials,
including maps and objects of all
                                           TECHNOLOGY UPDATE:
Activity rooms should be provided
                                         THE KNFB-READER MOBILE
so that the library would be a place
that is filled with life and energy.                                     By Moses Choo
                                                                   Assistant Executive Director
These could include rooms for                                National Council for the Blind, Malaysia
reading, indoor games, map-
reading, research and so on. In        If you are in a hotel room and you          us will remember the Arkenstone
this way, not only the blind but the   want to know what TV channels               and Arkenclone machines, the
community at large as well would       are available, you cannot make              VEERA, and other systems that
find the library to be interesting     use of the printed material.                enabled the blind to read the
and beneficial to everyone.            However, the KnfbReader Mobile              printed page. None of them,
                                       makes this possible. Once you               however, is portable.
Indeed, it is my fervent hope that     have found the printed sheet of
what I have proposed may become        paper, turn on your Nokia N82               Portability first became a reality
a reality in Malaysia some time in     cell phone by pressing a button on          in 2005 with the advent of the
the future.                            the top of the phone. The Nokia             Kurzweil-National Federation of
                                       music will let you know the phone           the Blind Reader. This consisted
                                       is active. Then press a button just         of a standard PDA with a digital
                                       to the left and a bit above the five-       camera attached to it. With this
                                       way scroll-box on the phone. You            device, the blind could read mail,
      In all recorded                  will hear the message, “Hello. I            office memos, printed receipts,
                                       am the KnfbReader Mobile.”                  and even US currency. But this
                                                                                   machine was still too bulky to put
 history there has not                 Truly, reading software is now              into a pocket comfortably.
                                       available in a small cell phone. Ray
                                       Kurzweil, the world-acclaimed               Now the Knfb-Reader Mobile is
  been one economist                   inventor, made a promise six years          a truly portable reading device
                                       ago that by 2008 the blind would            combined with a cell phone. With
                                       be enjoying reading portability             the addition of a screen-reading
who has had to worry                   which could be contained in the             software such as MobileSpeak or
                                       shirt pocket, and now it is here            Talks, it is now possible to access
                                       – the KnfbReader Mobile.                    the other functions of the phone,
 about where the next                                                              including making and receiving
                                       Do you remember the very first              phone calls and managing personal
                                       reading machine back in 976?               information such as names and
   meal would come                     That machine took up two tables             phone numbers of contacts and
                                       and cost about US$50,000. It                appointments in the calendar.
                                       was Ray Kurzweil who invented
             from.                     that machine as a result of a               The phone also offers an
                                       conversation he had on an airplane          accessible GPS programme, an
                                       with a blind person who told him            Adobe PDF reading programme, a
                                       that, although he could accomplish          voice recorder, a music player and
                                       many tasks independently, it                much more. Wonderful as it is,
     Peter Drucker                     would be nice if he could read
                                       printed material on his own.
                                                                                   nonetheless, the Nokia N82 offers
                                                                                   access to AT&T or T-Mobile only.
                                                                                   It will not work with Verizon,
                                       Years went by after the invention           Sprint, US Cellular, or other non-
                                       of the Kurzweil reader. Many of             GSM networks.

The Nokia N82 is about the             screen by pressing the number 9       3. The ability to use a Braille
size of a Milky Way candy bar,         key and choosing between small,          display would enable the
and unlike too many other cell         medium, and large. There is              deaf-blind to enjoy reading
phones, its keypad is very easy        also a setting here for turning the      portability.
to feel. The buttons have just the     display off.
right amount of space between                                                All in all, this is an excellent
them and are raised enough so          The clarity of speech from this       piece of technology to most blind
that they can be located easily by     little device and the accuracy of     people whether at home or at
touch. Moreover, the phone has         the optical character recognition     work. It can be used for seminars
two gigabytes of memory.               are very impressive. Nonetheless,     and conferences and especially
                                       as with any scanning and reading      by college students who need to
Above the keypad is a square           software, you do not always get       read handouts distributed by the
box, which is called the five-way      00 percent accuracy, but in many     lecturer. If the recommended
scroll-box. This box contains          instances it is very close. Reading   features are included, the
up, down, left, right, and enter       catalogues or magazines with a lot    KnfbReader Mobile will be able
buttons. To the left of the box is     of coloured text can sometimes be     to meet the needs of almost every
a button that activates different      a challenge and may slow down         blind person, even the deaf-blind.
functions, depending on what area      the recognition process.
of the button you press. Pressing                                            For more information, please
the top of this square button will     How does this device compare          contact KnfbReader Technologies
activate the KnfbReader Mobile.        with Kurzweil 00 and Openbook,       at website
Pressing the very small button on      the two desktop solutions that are    http://www.knfbreader.com/
the extreme left edge of the phone     in wide use today? With all three     products-mobile.php or call (877)
will activate the phone’s Send         systems you can scan and read         547500
feature. Pressing the bottom edge      documents. All three systems
of the button will bring up the        will let you save your scanned        The price is only US$2,95 which
phone’s main menu. To the right        documents, but Openbook and           includes reading software and
of the five-way scroll-box is the      Kurzweil 000 allow you to save       the Nokia N82 phone (excluding
End Call button, the top edge of       your documents in many different      the calling plan or the Talks or
which can be pressed to exit the       file formats. The huge difference,    MobileSpeak software).
Knfb-Reader mobile.                    however, is portability. With both
                                       Kurzweil and Openbook, you
If you turn the phone around so        must have a computer and scanner
that the back of it is facing you,     which are not really portable. With
you will find a slide switch that      the KnfbReader Mobile, you have
moves from left to right. When         a system that truly can be carried
this switch is moved to the left,      in a pocket.
the camera lens is closed; when it
is moved to the right, the lens is     It would be very helpful if this
open, and you can take a picture.      device could include several new
                                       features in future models such as
You can customise the reader by        the following:
changing the many user settings
available.     For example, by         . It should have more than
pressing the number 7 key on the          one file format for saving
keypad, you can enter the audio           documents.
settings and change the rate, pitch,
and volume of the speech as well       2. The ability to send a file to
as changing to any installed voice.       yourself or someone else by
If you have some vision, you can          email would be very useful.
adjust the size of the print on the

              AND STRATEGY
                                          By Barnabas Lee Ah Guan

                                    the Blind, I do not have any staff     Indeed, even before I joined MAB,
                                    working directly under me; I only      I had been able to observe and
                                    work with volunteers whenever          learn much about management
                                    I can get such assistance (which       and leadership in the corporate
                                    is often not easy to obtain).          sector where I was working. In
                                    Otherwise I try to tap assistance      order to illustrate what I am trying
                                    from other staff who I think           to say, allow me to share with you
                                    would be willing to give me some       at least four stories concerning the
                                    help. Quite often I have to find       actions and decisions undertaken
                                    ways of solving my problems            by certain managers when tackling
                                    by simply being innovative. For        a problem or in times of crisis.
                                    instance, now that I have acquired     These events took place while
Editor’s Note: Barnabas Lee         some computer skills, I have           I was working at the Malayan
is a low-vision person who had      taught myself to use the email to      Tobacco Co.
been employed as telephone          select or retrieve documents for
operator for many years in the      administrative purposes or for         In the first story, I remember very
private sector – first in East      reference.                             well how the manager-in-charge
Asiatic in Penang and later in                                             (who was a Malay man) spoke up
Malayan Tobacco Co. in Kuala        I have also observed that those        strongly against the establishment
Lumpur. In the late 1990s, he       who exercise good management           of Merdeka University and
was retrenched from MTC and         and leadership practices are           Chinese education. At the time,
had the opportunity to continue     usually people who are decisive        the cigarette, Benson & Hedges,
his career as telephonist in the    and well organised. They do not        was the chief product of the
Malaysian Association for the       hop here, there and everywhere,        Malayan Tobacco Co. and it was
Blind. After a few years, he        leaving work undone or in half         the market leader.
was successful in obtaining a       measures. If there is a job to be
promotion to become low-vision      done, they will focus full attention   When the Chinese educationists
assistant in charge of the MAB      upon the task in hand until it is      heard about the instigations being
low-vision service.                 completed to the satisfaction of       made by this manager-in-charge,
                                    all, but for himself in particular.    they sent campaigners going round
However, Barnabas loves to spend                                           the coffee-shops to discourage
much of his time and money on       And time – this element is of          people from smoking Banson &
books regarding management          crucial importance to anyone           Hedges. At the same time, they
and leadership matters. In the      who is carrying out a duty or          put in great effort to promote
following article, he would like    responsibility – great effort must     Dunhill as a better alternative.
to share with readers some of his   be made to work within the time        Hence, Benson & Hedges started
reflections on management and       frame given. In fact, one must         declining very fast and it soon
strategy. Here it is:               ensure that the results produced       lost about 80% of the market. As
                                    within the time frame are relevant     a consequence, the manager-in-
                                    and effective. Once the time           charge was relieved of his post.
                                    frame is passed, the results may be
In my job as Low-vision Assistant   rendered useless or ineffective.       The second story was about
at the Malaysian Association for                                           Gordon Watson who was Chief

Executive Officer (or CEO) when        method of doing things rubbed          Chinese machine operator) stood
the anti-smoking campaign was at       off easily on the countries where      up and said in his broken English,
its height. Everyone was talking       the British had great influence        “I am married and I am growing
about the dangers of smoking and,      and where they had established         old and I started with very low
as a result, cigarette sales dropped   commercial corporations such as        wages in the company. So when I
drastically. Many workers were         in Malaysia.                           retire, I will find it hard to manage
thinking of leaving the company                                               my life because I have an extended
for greener pastures.                  Nevertheless, when Alex Seward         family which depends on my
                                       came over to Malaysia from             earnings. Therefore, I would like
Watson, however, did not regard        Britain to take charge of the          to appeal to the management to
this as being the end of the road.     Malayan Tobacco Co. as CEO, he         consider giving us a better deal,
Instead, he took up the challenge      decided to remove many privileges      something like what they have
and went to The Board with this        from the executive class. In other     in the west.” His speech drew
message:                               words, he introduced some new          applause from his colleagues.
                                       measures and his purpose was to
                                       flatten the company hierarchy.         Accorda was impressed and he
    “Ladies and gentlemen,             Now the executives had to drive        wanted to bring up this matter to
                                       their own vehicles for which they      the Board in England. However,
    “I know that cigarette sales       were given a petrol allowance.         he had to grapple with two
    are starting to decline. Don’t     No more special rooms were             alternatives – if he brought up this
    worry – I have a solution          reserved for them and they had         issue with the parent company,
    – let’s go to China which          to eat in the cafeteria with all the   they would surely accuse him of
    has a one billion population.      other employees. At first there        siding with the workers rather
    If we can get three to four        was some dissatisfaction among         than the management and he
    hundred      million    people     the executives but they soon got       would probably lose his job. On
    smoking, imagine the benefits      used to the idea.                      the other hand, he could just do
    and profits the company will                                              nothing; but then, he had a burning
    gain.”                             Finally, my fourth story is about      desire to help the local people in
                                       Raymon Accorda when he was             Malaysia.
    It worked – they used the          CEO of the Malayan Tobacco
    marketable brand name of           Co. He was a firm believer that        Thus, before going to England, he
    Hilton to penetrate the China      policies and decisions formulated      visited many of the employees to
    market; they made many in-         in the board room should be made       ascertain for himself the situation
    roads, and the results were        known to the employees of the          they were facing with their
    spectacular! The company           company.                               extended families. Convinced
    rewarded Watson with three                                                that the workers were in need
    months’ bonus and many             On one occasion, he was having         of assistance to survive after
    other perks.                       a meeting with the union of            retirement, he called for a final
                                       employees and the focus of             meeting with the workers in
My third story goes back to the old    discussion was on the collective       order to put forward an idea for
days in Britain where the British      agreement between the union and        their consideration – would they
were very conservative. Those in       the management. He admitted that       support his proposal to The Board
the upper hierarchy of a company       it was true that in the agreement,     if he was able to push through at
were given many privileges – a         the developed nations had greater      least 50 to 60% of their demands.
personal assistant, one or more        advantage over the developing          He explained that their support
secretaries, a chauffeur, a private    nations. After some deliberation,      was essential to enable him to
room for meals, and they went          he invited the employees to share      win the case. All the employees
to the restaurant reserved for         their views.                           agreed to the proposal.
officers in the top echelons of
the company. Of course, this           To the surprise of everyone, one       Thus armed, he flew to England
mentality of management and this       of the workers (an uneducated          to bring the matter to The Board.

However, The Board’s response
was to relieve him of his duties,
their reason being that his proposal
would incur extra costs for the
                                                  A POINT TO PONDER:
company. For Accorda, this turned
out to be a blessing because when
                                                    WHO IS WINNER?
he got back to Latin America,
he was offered a better deal with                                      By Wong Kow
another company which became
                                       I casually picked up “The NCBM          the difference between success
a very successful competitor to
                                       Outreach” of July – September           and failure in life.
the Malayan Tobacco Co. Later,
                                       2007 and flipped through some
Accorda was given a posting in
                                       previous     published      articles.   At this juncture, allow me to bring
Japan and he did very well there.
                                       One article in particular entitled      you to the famous children’s fable
                                       “Special Education on Higher            of “The Rabbit and the Tortoise”.
By narrating these stories, I am
                                       Education for the Blind” by             Of course, we all know that the
trying to illustrate the point I
                                       Mr Godfrey Ooi captured my              tortoise won the race in spite of
had made earlier – management
                                       attention. He made reference to         being slow and steady while the
and strategy are not merely
                                       a memorandum directed to the            rabbit lost because of his over-
cold facts and figures. To be an
                                       Ministry of Higher Education            confidence which made him
effective manager and strategist,
                                       requesting for a special department     decide to take a nap mid-way into
the person needs to have intuitive
                                       on higher education for the blind.      the race.
knowledge, intelligence, courage,
human understanding and all-
                                       Among other crucial points,             Well, my version of the story does
out dedication to the task in
                                       the memorandum raised the               not end there. The rabbit would
hand. Likewise, these are also
                                       important issue of course options       not admit defeat and he challenges
the important ingredients for an
                                       for the blind. “..... restricting       the tortoise to a second race. This
organisation which truly seeks to
                                       the blind to one main university        time the rabbit was well prepared;
realise its vision and mission for
                                       severely limits the course options.     He ran full-speed ahead and, of
the intended target group such as
                                       Different universities provide          course, won the race.
the blind.
                                       different courses and not all these
                                       courses are available at Universiti     The tortoise went home to examine
                                       Malaya. In actual fact, the blind       thoroughly the reasons why he lost
                                       do have varied interests and            the race. He was very upset when
                                       inclinations just like their sighted    he realised that he had short legs
 Silent gratitude isn’t                peers .....”                            plus a heavy shell that hampered
                                                                               all his movements. However, after
                                       Looking back over the last half         resting for a few days, his mind
                                       century or so, many blind persons       began to clear and the tortoise
    very much use to                   have been able to achieve in higher     began to believe that nature must
                                       education and often through             have a purpose for each and every
                                       their own initiative despite the        one of his creatures.
           anyone.                     prevailing          misconceptions,
                                       difficulties and unfavourable           All of a sudden, the tortoise
                                       circumstances. A few have even          seemed to have gained complete
                                       obtained the PhD. and have              confidence in winning the race
                                       become key personnel in certain         with the rabbit. The next day he
                                       fields. Some of them have become        challenged the rabbit to the third
                                       successful business entrepreneurs.      race. Then both agreed that the
     Gertrude Stein                    Ultimately, whether a person is         starting point would be on one side
                                       disabled or not, it is his or her own   of the river-bank and the finishing
                                       determination that would make           point would be on the opposite

bank. When the race began, the           resources from society in order to
rabbit ran a very long distance          progress, the disabled have their
along the riverside before finding       talents and abilities that can be
a bridge to cross the river and run      tapped by society for the mutual
back to the finishing point. He          benefit of all.
was greatly disappointed to find                                               The chief lesson I
the tortoise already at the agreed
destination. The entire race was an
easy task for the tortoise because
he only had to swim across the                                                 have learned in a
narrow stream.

Indeed, both of the creatures
are handicapped in a certain                                                   long life is that the
way. Each has its own strengths
and weaknesses. They need not              I have failed many
necessarily be rivals; they could
complement one another and                                                    only way to make a
thereby make life easier and safer
in their environment.

Coincidentally, after their third                                              man trustworthy is
race, they observed that a hunter        times, and that’s why
was in the area. The rabbit quickly
carried the tortoise to the nearest
river-bank; the rabbit then sat on                                            to trust him; and the
top of the tortoise who jumped
into the river and brought the
rabbit safely to the other side.              I am a success.
                                                                              surest way to make
Whether disabled or not, we
all have various potentials and
abilities. Some may be able to
achieve their higher goals in a                                               him untrustworthy is
short time because of a quick
mind; others may be slow and
steady in reaching their goals but
they may be persistent and good                                                to distrust him and
planners. Ultimately, we need
to develop friendly and cordial
relations so that we can bring about
collaboration and complement
one another for success.
                                             Michael Jordan                   show your distrust.

Just like the rabbit and the tortoise,
the disabled and the general
public, especially the government,
                                                                              Henry L. Stimson
should be able to complement one
another in order to achieve a win-
win situation. While the disabled
are in need of assistance and

                              THE BIG DIFFERENCE
                                                 By Daud M. Amin
At the end of July 2007, I had the     I was half asleep during the journey   Minister should experience the
opportunity of going to Japan; the     but I could not help noticing the      trip in Japan in order to appreciate
trip was sponsored by the Japan        gentle voice of a lady welcoming       the difference between Japan and
Nippon Foundation.                     us aboard and explaining the           Malaysia.
                                       roads and highways that we were
On arrival in Japan, I boarded         travelling on. There was also a        It also seems to be the Malaysian
a “limousine bus” for a one-           message appealing to us to switch      way of life regarding the wrong
and-a-half hour ride. I had to         off our handphones or put them on      use of handphones. Not only the
pay RM00 which was rather             silent mode so that others would       constant ringing of handphones
expensive. However, I found the        not be disturbed.                      irritates other passengers but the
ride most interesting.                                                        shouting and screaming into the
                                       After about an hour, the bus came      phones really jars our nerves! Our
As I climbed into the bus, there       to a stop. Again there were the two    handphone users need to learn to
were two staff who made sure that      staff taking their bow, opening the    be more considerate.
our bags were properly tagged and      baggage compartment, taking out
placed together. I also observed       the bags and lining them up in a       We are fast approaching 2020
that the bus did not have its engine   row on the ground. After about         when we are supposed to become
running. When it was time to go,       ten minutes, one of the staff came     a “developed nation”. I hope
the staff would move our bags into     up the bus and announced on the        some important changes will take
the baggage compartment. When          microphone that two more persons       place before then.
they were ready, they signalled        had not claimed their bags. After
to the bus driver that he could        checking all our tickets, it turned
move. As soon as the bus engine        out that the bags belonged to me
was started, the two staff stood at    and to someone from Indonesia.
attention and took a bow.              Thus, I knew it was my turn to get
                                       off the bus.
                                                                                    You can’t help
Five minutes later, the bus arrived
at another terminal, which I later     This pleasant trip in Japan made
learned was terminal one. As           me keenly aware of the vast
                                                                              someone get up a hill
we arrived, there was a group          contrast in Malaysia. Our bus
of people standing around and          drivers don’t stop their engines –     without getting closer
there was also a pile of bags          they seemed to love the noise and
neatly arranged in a row. Again        hot air produced by the engine.
there were two staff on duty. The      Hearing their screams, you don’t         to the top yourself.
moment the bus came to a stop,         even know if they are calling the
the driver turned off the engine.      passengers or challenging their
Both the staff who were standing       competitors. As for the bags, they
with the row of bags took a bow.       are your own responsibility.
Immediately after, the two staff
carefully placed all the bags into     On the bus there is no one to                  H. Norman
the baggage compartment, gave          welcome visitors. KL Sentral is
the signal for the engine to start,    supposed to be our travel hub –
and again took a bow as we went        therefore, the government needs to           Schwarzkopf
off.                                   take control of all the buses plying
                                       this route. Perhaps our Prime

       THE                                    TIPS FOR A BETTER LIFE
                                        . Take a ten to thirty-minute           happiness except you.
     OF A MAN                              walk every day; and while
                                           you walk, smile.                  6. What other people think of
The strength of a man                                                            you is none of your business.
Isn’t seen in the width of his          2. Sit in silence for about ten
shoulders;                                 minutes each day.                 7. Stay in touch with friends.
It is seen in the width of his arms
that circle you.                        3. Sleep for seven hours.            8. No matter how you feel, get
                                                                                 up, dress up and show up.
Isn’t in the deep tone of his           4. Live with the three e’s
voice;                                     – energy, enthusiasm and          9. Each day give something
But in the gentle words he                 empathy.                              good to others.
                                        5. Play more games.                  20. The best is yet to come!
Isn’t seen in the many buddies he
has;                                    6. Read more books than you
But how good a buddy he is with            did last year.
his kids.
                                        7. Make time to practise
Isn’t seen in how respected he is          meditation and prayer – they
at work;                                   provide us with the daily fuel
                                                                                   IF YOU KNOW
But how respected he is at home.           for our busy lives.
                                                                                  OF ANY BLIND
Isn’t seen in how hard he hits;         8. Spend time with people over           PERSON NEEDING
But how tenderly he touches.               the age of seventy and under
                                           the age of six.                      REGISTRATION FOR
Isn’t seen in the hairs on his                                                    EDUCATION OR
chest;                                  9. Dream more while you are              REHABILITATION,
But in his heart that lies within his      awake.
                                                                               PLEASE CONTACT US
                                        0. Eat more fruits that grow on          IMMEDIATELY
Isn’t seen by how many women                trees and plants and eat less
he’s loved;                                 foods manufactured in plants.
But in how he can be true to one                                                         NCBM
woman.                                  . Drink plenty of water.

                                        2. Try to make at least three             Te: 03-2272 4959
Isn’t seen in the weight he can
lift;                                       people smile each day.
But in the burdens he can carry.
                                        3. You don’t have to win every
                                            argument – agree to disagree.                 MAB

                                        4. Make peace with your past so
                                            it will not spoil the present.         Te; 03-2272 2673
                                                                                       03-2272 2677
                                        5. No one is in charge of your

   MEMBERS OF NCBM FOR 2008 - 2010
             Dato’ S. Kulasegaran, President, NCBM

         En Mah Hassan Hj. Omar, Vice-President, NCBM
                Society of the Blind in Malaysia

        Mr John Wong Siong Cheng, Hon. Secretary, NCBM
                 Sarawak Society for the Blind

           Mr Ooi Chee Khoon, Hon. Treasurer, NCBM
                      St. Nicholas Home

                       Mr Wong On Fook
                   Sabah Society for the Blind

                        Mr Anthony Sia
                   Sabah Society for the Blind

                     Mr William G Brohier
                      St. Nicholas Home

                   Puan Maziah Abu Bakar
                Society of the Blind in Malaysia

                  Dato’ Dr Hsiung Kwo Yeun
                 Sarawak Society for the Blind

                      Mr George Thomas
               Malaysian Association for the Blind

                 Prof. Dr M. Chandra Sekaran
               Malaysian Association for the Blind

           FOR 2008 - 2010
                Committee on Access to Technology for the Blind
                              Dr Zakaria Osman

                     Committee on Education and Welfare
                              Mr Godfrey Ooi

            Committee on Employment and Related Support Service
                           Mr Stephen Hsu Wee

                 Committee on Library and Information Service
                          Puan Maziah Abu Bakar

                   Committee for the Prevention of Blindness
                       Prof. Dato’ Dr Veera Ramani

                             NCBM Braille Press
                         Prof. Dr M. Chandra Sekaran

                      Committee for Sports and Recreation
                           Dr S. Radha Krishnan

                   Committee for the Advancement of Women
                           Puan Clarice Irine Moiji

     ORGANISATIONS, 2008 - 2010
                  Malaysian Council for Rehabilitation (MCR)
                          En Mah Hassan Hj. Omar

    National Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia (NCWSDM)
                         Ven. Archdeacon Samuel D. John

           Standing Committee on Prevention and Control of Blindness
                        Prof. Dato’ Dr Veera Ramani

                               World Blind Union
                Dato’ S. Kulasegaran and Mr Ivan Ho Tuck Choy

                             Auditors 2009 - 200
                      Inpana & Associates, Kuala Lumpur


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