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Kuala Lumpur bids to be 75% accessible in 10 years

24th March 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

In a bid to appeal to a wider market and increase its rating as an accessible tourist destination, Kuala Lumpur intends for almost all of its public spaces to be inclusive to visitors and locals alike. Though this does not include residential areas that are regarded as private property, it shows a positive attitude to inclusivity that may extend to residential areas in the future.

As long as the financial support is forthcoming, those responsible for the initiative, such as DBKL Project Implementation and Building Maintenance Department deputy director Ch’ng Gaik Bee, believe there is little standing in their way to achieving their aims.  This bid not only includes seamless footpaths and access to the city’s most popular experiences, but also accessible public transport and improved hotel facilities.

The objective is already in effect to a certain extent under the Compulsory Disability Act 2008, where all new projects should be specifically designed for accessibility in mind. If this is not the case and architects have deviated from the approved plans, then the public can complain and contact the Board of Architects Malaysia, who will take necessary action. In conjunction with this there is also the expectation that older buildings should also be refitted in order to comply with the disability act. 

There is not only accessibility in mind, but also an inclusive approach to the public spaces. Innovative tactile pavements allow a safe way to interact with the environment for those with visual impairments, while better signage has been called for to aid those with hearing loss.

Many of Kuala Lumpur’s public spaces are already on the way to fulfilling the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Master Plan 2015-2024. With many of the top hotels including accessible rooms with disabled bathroom facilities as standard, it is looking likely to become a popular holiday destination. There is also talk of targeted disabled packages for some of the best sites of the area including Scuba Diving off Tioman Island and race car driving at the Sepang National Circuit.