Sunday, 28 March 2010

"Malaysia Best in Handling Indigenous people's Rights"

....said the Malaysian government representative, Datuk Dr. Marcus Mojigoh at today's Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians' Conference on Environment and Development. His claim which came at the back of the recent historic protest by 2000 orang asli at Putrajaya, the administrative capital of the country and a doctor's public disclosure of malpractices and misappropriation of resources at a orang asli hospital must have raised not a few participants' eyebrows. According to Dr. Mojigoh, the orang asli must be a contented lot as the government has cared for them from 'womb to grave'. The reality of this marginalized people, numbering only 141,230 is far from the rosy picture he has painted. Perhaps he should have claimed that in the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia is the least worst country in handling her indigenous people.

Some statistics:
  • (2004) while the national poverty rate is 6.5%, that of the orang asli is 76.9%,
  • (2003) while the national hardcore poor rate is 1.4% that of the orang asli is 35.2%,
  • (2003) they make up 53.6% of recorded Malaria cases,
  • (2002) 19.63% of the population has leprosy,
  • vast majority of orang asli children are undernourished and stunted,
  • although more and more orang asli children are enrolled in primary and secondary schools, the dropout rate is high; for instance for every 100 orang asli children entering Primary 1, only 6 will be expected to reach Form 5.
And the list goes on. Below are some excerpts from papers highlighting the plight of the orang asli:

Not only are they the most marginalized, they are also facing the spectre of losing their claims on their ancestral lands. Their way of life has also been threatened by a government bent on converting them:

Read here for further anecdotal account.

No comments:

Post a Comment