KUALA LUMPUR: Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) organisations and group of individuals today urged the of Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) to reinstate the Incentive Allowance for Disabled Workers (EPOKU) disbursement using cash for the ease of the community.

In a statement supported by 54 organisations and 118 individuals, the group expressed disappointment with the Cashless Assistance Payment Pilot Project, JKMPay launched on April 9, 2021 as it has caused difficulties to PwDs including in terms of mobility, access to facilities, and social support systems.

It said EPOKU, which has been given in cash or credited into the recipient's account, now saw recipients who were involved in the JKMPay pilot programme, being paid half of their allowance in cash while another half credited to their JKMPay Cashless Card.

The group said this has created difficulties for PwDs in rural areas as there are barely any or enough JKM panel shops or shops registered with Bank Islam for them to use their credited assistance.

"PwDs with mobility impairments, wheelchair users and those without own vehicles face additional burdens and challenges.

"Their mobility has long been limited by the inaccessible public transportation system and built environment and there is no certainty that the registered shops under JKMPay have the necessary accessible facilities for PwDs," according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the group urged KPWKM to immediately set up a special committee comprising PwD leaders to review and eliminate discrimination in the implementation of JKMPay as any decision making must take into account the views of the community as important stakeholders.

KPWKM minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun last month said the JKMPay pilot project which first started in Perlis, Kedah and Melaka before being extended to other states, was still at the feasibility study stage before being implemented nationwide.