Help Support This Good Cause - MPH One Utama Boycott

Dear friends and family,
Kindly read the massage below and help support the cause by spreading words to others to shape a better future for the sake of our children.

Thank you and best regards,
Suraya Mohamad
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Dear friends and family,
Tasha (my sister) told me about the incident described below and Adely and I feel very strongly that MPH (and other such businesses in Malaysia!) needs to change its ways. We would very much appreciate it if you could take the time to read my letter, and if you support our cause, to spread the word!
Much love and thanks,
Nadia, Adely and Nadyn

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Dear MPH One Utama,

On Saturday 16 October 2010 my sister was browsing near your Music section where a boy of about 12 was listening to a CD and singing along to the music. For some reason, despite the fact that this was the Music section and that your store is not a library, she noticed several members of your staff glaring while walking past the singing boy with some even attempting to "sssh" the boy. One of your staff approached my sister who was standing nearby and who was in turn looking disapprovingly at your rude staff members and asked her if the boy was her brother. She replied, "He can't help having ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), just like you can't help being an intolerant ignoramus".

My sister's suspicion that the boy had an ASD was confirmed by the boy's father who came along later. I do not however, feel the need to explain Autistic Spectrum Disorders to you: yours is a bookstore which I am sure contains several books on the condition and the ways in which it may manifest in both children and adults, which your staff should be free to read. Suffice to say that in most if not all cases, people living with ASD have ways in which to manage the sensory overload of being in a loud, crowded space such as shopping malls. These ways may include singing or chanting out loud, spinning, or other ways in which they choose to process the world. Think of it as a myopic person having to wear corrective eyeglasses in order to see the world as those with 20-20 vision do.

The issue however, is not the boy's ASD, but the sheer lack of human kindness and decency several members of your staff displayed. Even if the boy were "normal" (and I use this phrase loosely), what was wrong with his singing, I wonder? Have bookstores been designated "Quiet Zones"? There was no indication that his singing was disturbing the rest of your customers.

I feel that your staff’s behavior in this case is symptomatic of the work that still needs to be done with regards to spreading Autism awareness. Nonetheless, as a parent of a child with ASD I am disappointed by the level of rudeness and intolerance amongst your staff, given that your store regularly supports initiatives such as Autistism Awareness Month in April. Are such endeavors merely public relations exercises?

As such, I will be boycotting your store until this serious lapse in customer service is addressed. For your information, as an avid reader I spend an average of RM300-500 in your store weekly. I will also be recommending for a boycott of your store amongst other parents with ASD children, people with ASD and friends and family. I am confident that no one who empathizes with the challenges faced by people with ASD would feel happy patronizing a business that displays such intolerance.

Yours sincerely,
INTAN NADIA JALIL
TAMAN TUN DR. ISMAIL

Cc. Malaysian National Autistic Society (NASOM); ANDI Initiative Malaysia

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