Archive for June 12th, 2019

Call on authorities to ensure that there will not be a second Kampong Kuala Koh tragedy where 14 died mysteriously after suffering malnourishment and immunocompromise making them vulnerable and fatal to diseases

The Health Minister, Dzulkefly Ahmad seemed to have confirmed the analysis of activists Colin Nicholas and Dr. Steven Chow that the Kampong Kuala Koh tragedy where 14 Bateq villagers had died since early May is not so much a medical problem but a direct result of what happens when people’s rights to their customary lands are not recognised and that land is destroyed.

Nicholas, the executive director of the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), said that after the land had been taken away from the Bateqs by the Kelantan state government and the destruction of their resource base and their traditional way of life, they became malnourished and underweight, lowering their resistance to many common ailments, whether pneumonia, tuberculosis or even diarrhoea, resulting in fatalities..

Chow, the team leader of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations Malaysia (FPMPAM) medical outreach programme visited Kampung Kuala Koh just a week before the tragedy unfolded.

He was appalled by the conditions in the village and said this was “a community left behind, dying from neglect”.

He said: “It was appalling. There was no running water. All the water tanks were empty. Pipes were broken. All we had was the bottled water that we brought along for the patients and the medical team. Read the rest of this entry »

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