New Straits Times, Malaysia Tuesday, December 18, 2007 Dr Ismail charts history as Malaysia's first blind senator KUALA LUMPUR, TUES: The Malaysian Association for the Blind president Prof Datuk Dr Ismail Md Salleh today charted history when he became the first blind Malaysian appointed as a member of the Dewan Negara. He was sworn in before Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Pawanteh at the Parliament House. Klebeng state constituency coordinating vice chairman Shamsudin Mehat and former Pending state assemblyman Datuk Sim Kheng Hui were also sworn in as senators. Ismail, 60, who used braille during the ceremony, told reporters later that his appointment clearly showed the government's commitment towards the disabled. "I thank Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the appointment and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who nominated me," he said. Dr Ismail was born on Sept 2, 1947 in Pasir Mas, Kelantan. He obtained a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the New York University in 1973 and a masters' in economics from the Illinois University a year later. He was conferred a doctorate by the same university in 1977. Dr Ismail said he received the appointment letter on Friday and found it difficult to express what he felt at the time. He said his appointment, as a senator was more of representing the disabled and would bring up their issues especially matters involving disabled women and those mentally challenged. These groups required a lot of support and assistance, he said. He said he wanted to hold a congress for all disabled in the near term to identity major issues affecting them and find ways to overcome them. His contributions to other fields like economics would also not stop here, he said. Dr Ismail is Twintech Holdings chief executive officer and Twintech International University College of Technology vice-chancellor. He is also a father of six. http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Tuesday/Frontpage/20071218163418/Article/index_html BlindNews Mailing List Subscribe: BlindNews-Request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "subscribe" as subject Unsubscribe: BlindNews-Request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with "unsubscribe" as subject Moderator: BlindNews-Moderators@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Archive: http://GeoffAndWen.com/blind RSS: http://GeoffAndWen.com/BlindNewsRSS.asp More information about RSS feeds will be published shortly.