For those with mobility issues, Malaysia can be a nightmare. In many cities and towns there are often no footpaths, kerbs are very high, construction sites are everywhere, and crossings are few and far between.
While the 2008 Persons with Disabilities Act recognises the rights of people with disabilities to have equal access to public transport, among many other social goods, there is no penalty for noncompliance. The government does not mandate accessibility to transportation, and few older public facilities are adapted; new government buildings are generally more likely to be accessible.
The rights of air passengers were improved in 2016, meaning that people with a disability cannot be discriminated against and no longer need to notify an airline unless they are travelling with an electric mobility device, in which case 48 hours’ notice is required. The only exception is if an aircraft’s size or doors prevent boarding.
Ace Altair Travels (03-2181 8765; disabledtravelinmalaysia.weebly.com) Based in Kuala Lumpur, this is the only specialist accessible travel agent and tour operator in Malaysia. In addition to tours and hotel bookings, they offer wheelchair-accessible transfers (from the airport or door-to-door) and equipment rental.
Disabled Holidays (www.disabledholidays.com) This UK-based specialist accessible travel agent and tour operator has a range of offers covering both mainland and East Malaysia.
Malaysia's National Council for the Blind has some online information about tourism initiatives for the sight impaired across the country – see www.ncbm.org.my/index/tourism-in-malaysia for details.
Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel. Before setting off, get in touch with your national support organisation (preferably with the travel officer, if there is one).