The guys from the Selangor Waterfall Lover Association, known as Pertubuhan Pencinta Air Terjun Selangor (PPATS) in Malay, are now planning on making Malaysia’s very first waterfall pool designed exclusively for the disabled (Orang Kurang Upaya, OKU) at Sungai Liam Waterfall, Ulu Yam, according to Cili Sos.
Why did they suddenly decide this? Well, according to Executive Director of Beautiful Gate Foundation Pastor Sia Siew Chin, not much disabled-friendly facilities can be found in Malaysia.
“There’s no waterfall that we can go to and we would like to have that opportunity to be closer to nature – to touch the water and everything. Rather than just watch the TV and look at pictures… can see, but cannot feel or touch,” said the Pastor as reported by Cili Sos.
Therefore, for the sake of the disabled in Malaysia, PPATS and Beautiful Gate Foundation will work together to build a special waterfall pool complete with a ramp leading into the pool for the convenience of people with wheelchairs.
“During our monthly campaigns at Sg. Liam waterfall, our adopted waterfall, when we have the budget, we would invite OKU people (the blind, deaf, people with autism, wheelchair-bound, etc.), old folks, orphans, orang asli and also underprivileged children to participate and have fun. We found that of all the OKUs, getting wheelchair-bound people in was the most challenging,” said Chairman of PPATS, Herbert Wong.
The unique project also involved the assistance other bodies such as PHPower, a global company specialising in sustainable power generation, who will work alongside Blue Earth Society of Malaysia where they both will be in charge of some preliminary design works of the pool using architecture and technology from France.
Herbert also added, “We worked with Jabatan Kebajikan Malaysia. For NGOs, we have invited people from an old folks home in Ulu Yam. For a wheelchair-bound NGO, we collaborated with Beautiful Gates Foundation. They will also be directly involved in the design, and construction of all the facilities at the waterfall.”
The project will start somewhere around the first quarter of 2015.