IPOH, Sept 13 — As a person with a disability, Mohamad Fakrulradzi Zahari sees nothing in challenging the perception that not having limbs is a deterrent to living life.
One just has to see him on the skateboard to know his determination.
The 22-year-old started in 2016 as he wanted to challenge himself.
“I saw other able bodied people do it, so why can’t I?” he said.
Speaking to Malay Mail, Fakrulradzi, who is also a weightlifter, said his family was initially against him skating as they were worried about his safety.
“But after I showed them videos of me performing stunts on skateboard, they relented,” he said, adding that to date, his family still has not given their full blessings.
“However, they still support me as they know that is my interest.”
Fakrulradzi, who lost his legs when he was six years old, said the only problem he has now was his skating tricks were limited.
“I admit I do get jealous when I see other able bodied skaters perform,” he said.
Due to his condition, Fakrulradzi also cannot skate if a skate park is crowded.
“As I roll using my hands, there is a danger of my hands getting rolled over by other skaters if the park is crowded,” he added.
Despite skating for the past three years, the former Land and Mines Department contract worker said he was still not confident to join competitions.
“I feel I do not qualify yet due to my limited tricks. I need to train harder,” said Fakrulradzi, who now runs a small business selling fruits.
Despite the challenges, Fakrulradzi hoped he would be able to skate with international skaters in the future.
“My life will be complete,” he said.
He also hoped other people with disabilities would not dwell on their condition.
“I actually want to see more people with disabilities skate. They must get out of their comfort zone. Do not ever have the thought that just because we are disabled we are lesser than normal people.
“We should not be ashamed of our condition. Do not be taken in by what others have to say about us,” he added.