by Adam Ham
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The Paralympic Council of Malaysia (PCM) today announced the launch of a dynamic 10 years corporate social responsibility (CSR) international campaign, #WeThe15 – The Malaysian Way. The announcement is made exactly 1 week before the official opening of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on 24th August to 5th September 2021.

According to PCM Secretary General, First Admiral Dato’ Subramaniam Raman Nair, #WeThe15 is historically the biggest ever human rights movement, initiated by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The main intent of the campaign is to end discrimination against persons with disabilities, and targets to transform the lives of 1.2 billion people, which represents 15% of the global population. The campaign, already supported locally by the Ministry of Women, Family & Community Development and Majilis Kebangsaan Bagi Orang Kurang Upaya (MKBOKU) is also supported internationally by 20 leading organizations such as UN Human Rights, UNESCO, United Nations Alliance of Civilization, International Disability Alliance, European Commission, World Health Organization, and many more.

Aligned with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and together with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Malaysia is pleased to join and support the global initiative to empower Governments, businesses & the public to make a commitment to an inclusive society. In the mean time, PCM has identified 3 main visions for the CSR initiative: 1. To Celebrate 15% OKU Malaysia; To Promote Assistive Technology; and to Instill Sense of Commitment.

IPC President Andrew Parsons said: “#WeThe15 aspires to be the biggest ever human rights movement for persons with disabilities and aims to put disability right at the heart of the inclusion agenda, alongside ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. By uniting several leading international organizations and the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities behind one common movement, we will make a tangible and well overdue difference for the planet’s largest marginalized group. I strongly believe #WeThe15 could be a real game-changer for persons with disabilities.”

To symbolize the support for the global move, PCM has confirmed that Malaysia has arranged for the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world, KL Tower (Menara Kuala Lumpur) as Malaysia’s landmark to be lighted up purple on 19th August 2021 in the evening.

Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Zaharudin, Chef de Mission of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and the President of PCM, who is departing for Tokyo tonight is ecstatic with the decade long initiative for a good cause and reiterated, “We are pleased to be the default authority, in line with the Government and our 25 sports associations to jointly develop and promote the opportunities for the Paralympic athletes, as well as to find new talents for its growth in Malaysia. We’re here to manage the successes from our programs, and much to thank all our stakeholders, as well as our sponsors for the mutual support. In light with this, we’ll ensure that PCM will heighten greater awareness, visibility, and representation of persons with disabilities, the Malaysian Way.”

To mark the launch of #WeThe15 several high-profile activities will be planned

  • Campaign film: A 90-second-long film that is a proud and vibrant celebration of persons with disabilities has been produced. From today (19 August) it will air across multiple digital channels, as well as TV channels in 60 countries with the aim of reaching at least half a billion people by the end of September.
  • Iconic purple symbol: A new iconic purple symbol of inclusivity where the world’s 15% with disabilities are no longer marginalized has been created and launched.  Purple has long been associated with the disability community, but this is the first time a vibrant symbol exists that can unite the community and call for actionable change.
  • Purple light-up: This evening to celebrate the launch of the campaign more than 125 iconic landmarks, spanning several countries and time-zones will light up purple. Landmarks that will be illuminated include New York’s Empire State Building, Tokyo Skytree and Rainbow Bridge, Geneva’s Jet d’Eau, Moscow’s Ostankino Tower, Rome’s Colosseum, the London Eye and the Niagara Falls spanning Canada and the USA.
  • Digital media: Several activities are also planned across digital media channels.  This includes the campaign symbol appearing on Twitter when #WeThe15 is used within Tweets and a special content series on Facebook about sport for persons with disabilities.  Instagram and Snapchat will be providing special purple filters for users.
  • Tokyo 2020: The campaign film will be played out during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony reaching an estimated global audience of 250 million people.  Several other activities are planned during the Games.  More than 20,000 temporary tattoos of the WeThe15 will also be distributed to athletes in the Paralympic Village to wear during competition.

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