KUANTAN, April 24 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) is targeting to have at least one certified Bahasa Melayu (BM) sign language interpreter in each district nationwide, said its Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. 

He said so far there are only 60 certified BM sign language interpreters in the country with the majority in Kuala Lumpur causing KKMM to commence efforts to increase the number of such personnel.

“For the time being, KKMM is preparing a sign language interpreter course with the cooperation of the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf with an intake of candidates for the course from July. For a start, it will involve Bahasa Melayu before being followed by other languages.

“We are also making efforts such that the sign language interpreter is not a permanent post nonetheless when their services are required, a specific amount of honourarium maybe determined according to the number of hours and so on,” he said.

Saifuddin who is also indera Mahkota MP told reporters after presenting Ramadan contributions to members of people with disabilities (PwP) associations here today.

The presence of a certified sign language interpreter in each district, according to Saifuddin would help facilitate delivering the message at official government programmes in the district involving the disabled community.

Even though the intake of candidates for the course is open to all, priority would be given to PwP in the physical category as it would provide an additional source of income whenever their services are required.

Apart from that, Saifuddin said KKMM would also cooperate with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) so that the sign language interpreter would be deployed during Friday sermon by targeting at least one mosque in a major district to have a sign language interpreter to facilitate deaf and dumb congregants.

So far, only a handful number of mosques in Malaysia have sign language interpreters who carried out the service voluntarily and in Indera Mahkota, Saifuddin said the Panglima Perang Tengku Muhammad Mosque in Sungai Karang would be the first mosque to have such an interpreter.


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