Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Orang Asli - Relocation? What is good according to government may not be good according to Orang Asli? Respect their rights

Relocating Orang Asli from their homes to 'better' homes  - well, that is SHOCKING. 

Many a times Orang Asli homes and villagers have been moved because of development or other government plans. Would Malay kampungs and tamans be 'relocated' just because there is an outbreak of justice...Will they accept this?

Relocating means moving them not simply from their homes but also from their livelihood - which may be from forest products, agriculture and others... 
In the past some orang asli very uprooted and given nice 'brick' houses in town - WOW, but it moved them also from their source or livelihood and their way of life. Now, closer to town - how will they earn an income. No choice but to enter the job market - and usually getting jobs in factories,etc as unskilled lowly waged workers. Is that an improvement of one's quality of life? I do not think so...the move may have been with 'good intentions' but at the end of the day, it was detriment to the Orang Asli..An example of this can be seen in Sungai Penchala, if not mistaken?
Gotong Royong to clean up their houses and village - Do the Orang Asli even want it? Would you be happy if people come and clean up your home ...It is shameful that one thinks that their notion of 'clean'  should be forced down on others... 

Building houses for Orang Asli - is it the kind of houses that the orang asli wants? Their houses now is constructed with a certain intelligence for their building houses for them, simply using the plans of other houses in towns and kampungs may not be best for the Orang Asli. Are they nomadic? Do they move locations for their livelihood ...Or are they a settled community who has stayed put in one location? Building permanent homes is foolish if this village moves places of residence from time to talk to the Orang Asli and find out before building homes.. 
After about 60 years since independence, do all the Orang Asli enjoy the right of access to clean piped water, electricity, etc...For a long time, the Orang Asli fell under the Home Ministry - not the Welfare Ministry or the Rural Development Ministry...They were given 'special schools', where the standard of educators and quality of education were much lower compared to other government schools, who many a time seem to have an agenda of trying to convert them to Muslims ignoring the fact that they had their own culture and beliefs. This led to many Orang Asli simply avoiding such schools and programs that were seem to have a side agendas. Likewise the clinics and hospitals.. Things have started to change today ...but still a lot needs to be done.
RELOCATION - will that not also affect their rights to native customary rights(NCR) land? Will they lose it? Time to gazette NCR land, and it should not be changed status according to whims and fancies of the government...
When it comes to the Orang Asli, their rights must be respected - we should not try to force them to become 'us' - that is disrespecting rights and their identity
We have often heard of orang asli blockades, where they struggle against encroachment of their forests by loggers and other business interest. 
If one went to Taman Negara, the orang asli is made into a tourist attraction - and it looks that they were made to stay as they were many years ...people come and gawk at them take photographs ...would you be OK if you and your home becomes such a tourist attraction? 
Orang Asli have come together and are slowly fighting back...but realise that there are many different ethnic groups...with their own unique language and culture. Many may have heard of the Semai, Temuan and the Temiar - the Batek may be one of the Orang Asli groups that people may have heard for the first time. There are other ethnic groups as well..
When our Federal Constitution was drafted, the Orang Asli was left out from the right to receive affirmative action be it scholarship, education, jobs, business opportunities and licences...something that maybe the PH government should remedy. This first peoples of Malaya really need to be given much better rights than even the Malay in Peninsular Malaysia...This be my opinion.
So many died, 15 now, and now the Minister says it was measles - and the question that follows was what was the state of healthcare provided? If there was better healthcare - like mobile clinics that made regular visits, the problem and the deaths may have been avoided..
Anyway, what happened to the Batek people has highlighted the state of the Orang Asli in Malaysia...will there be improvement under the Pakatan Harapan government? 
Anyway, the news report that suggested that the relevant FederaL Department(JAKOA) be relocating the community was just denied by the Minister.


Jakoa to move orang asli community out of Kuala Koh: Mohd Amar

18 Jun 2019 / 18:08 H.
KOTA BARU: The Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) plans to move the orang asli community of the Batek tribe out of Kampung Kuala Koh, said Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.

He said the state government was given to understand that the community would be offered a more conducive settlement where their health progress and living conditions could be easily monitored.

“We heard Jakoa intends to move the community to a much better location for better management of environment, health and safety risks, and this is a welcome move,“ he told reporters at an Aidilfitri event held at the Kelantan Mentri Besar official residence here today.

He said the state government would not interfere in plans initiated by Jakoa as the agency was specifically set up to address issues affecting the orang asli communities.

“If there is anything, the state government will always refer to Jakoa and we will support the department, he said.

Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad reportedly said that 37 of the 112 orang asli of Kampung Kuala Koh in Gua Musang who were reported to have symptoms of respiratory infection were found to have been hit by a measles outbreak.

Dzulkefly was quoted as saying, of the 112 orang asli cases, the Health Ministry recorded three deaths with the latest victim being a boy aged two years six months, due to complications from measles. — Bernama - Sun Daily, 18/6/2019

Waytha Moorthy: No plans to relocate Orang Asli from Kuala Koh

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy visits the ‘red zone’ in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang June 13, 2019. — Bernama pic
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy visits the ‘red zone’ in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang June 13, 2019. — Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Putrajaya has no plans to relocate the Batek Orang Asli from their homes in Kampung Kuala Koh, Kelantan, Senator P. Waytha Moorthy said today.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department refuted Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who yesterday claimed that the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) planned to move the Batek tribe out of Kampung Kuala Koh.

“Jakoa never brought up the matter of moving the Orang Asli in Bateq to a new location be it in meetings or through the media.

“I as the minister in charge of the welfare of the Orang Asli categorically deny what YAB Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said.

“While the government empathises with their plight, it is illogical to move these people from their natural habitat as they are more comfortable where they are,” Waytha said in a statement.

Waytha said the department is currently building houses for the Orang Asli, adding that 16 have been constructed so far.

He said the department will continue to do so until every family in the village has a new house.

He also said Jakoa will work with the Health Ministry and Kelantan health agencies to provide immunisation shots and vaccines to the Orang Asli, especially children.

The Batek Orang Asli have been infected with measles, a childhood disease that has claimed the lives of 15 villagers to date.

Waytha also announced a gotong-royong and health camp to clean up the village to prevent the measles contagion from spreading and infecting the community whose immune systems are at risk.

“The local community and NGOs are participating in the gotong-royong to clean up the surrounding areas and bring it back to healthy living conditions.

“The health camp will involve lectures and sermons to raise awareness on health, hygiene and how to prevent infectious diseases from spreading in the future.

“In the meantime, Jakoa together with the Kelantan Health Department will provide the Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Unit (BAKAS) once the area is declared disease free. For now, the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources will provide treated water for the residents,” he said. - Malay Mail, 19/6/2019

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