This is how the government treats the orang asli. Is it so difficult to provide even the most basic amenities to them? Yet, recently a government official in an international seminar trumpeted that Malaysia treats her indigenous people the best. The Bernama report below shows how well they are taken care of from 'womb to grave', as the official proudly put it.
Mar 29, 10 6:56pm
For over 20 years, 30 Orang Asli families residing in the Kampung Pelam Hardcore Poor Housing Project, near Rompin in Pahang, have lived without electricity and clean water supply.
The village chief, Husin Dagang, said the residents had to purchase a generator and depend on rain and well water to carry out daily activities such as cooking, bathing and cleaning.
Husin, 50, said each family spent RM500 on diesel to run the generators and those who could not afford one would live in darkness.
"We have to spend part of our income on the generator, but we don't have the academic qualifications and only work in the village so we can't afford to fork out this much money," he said when met here.
He said the villagers had voiced out their woes to local leaders, but had yet to see any action taken to provide the basic facilities.
"When we ask the local leaders they say water and electricity will be available soon, but the matter has yet to be resolved," he said.
A villager, Halim Abas, 38, said the lack of basic facilities caused residents to experience stomach-ache and vomitting because they had to share well water and use rain water.
Having no electricity made it difficult for the children to revise their studies at night as they only had oil lamps, he added.
"We hope the government will do something soon to overcome this problem as the residents cannot wait much longer," he said.