Archive for category Orang Asli

Post SK Tohoi tragedy – the need for revamp of the education programe for Orang Asli students

Based on information from the Orang Asli and Orang Asli activists familiar with the issues facing the education of Orang Asli children, it appears that the tragic incident of the 7 Temiar schoolchildren who went missing on 23 August 2015 has its roots in the sad situation some Orang Asli schools and hostels (asramas) are in, and in the caliber and character of the people assigned to run them.

The school in Pos Tohoi in Gua Musang, where the 7 children were being schooled and boarded, was in a lamentable condition, sometimes with no water in the hostels, forcing the children to use the river. Broken and unmaintained fences allow easy access out the hostel grounds.

No Orang Asli teachers

There was no headmaster assigned to the school at the time of the incident. A new headmaster was posted there just the day before the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi on 28 September. The eight teachers are all male and none of them are Orang Asli. There are four wardens, only one of whom is a female. But the majority of the students are female.

School enrolment down

The school enrolment as at 23 August 2015 was 170 students, with 70 students staying in the hostel. Today, after the incident, there are 103 students enrolled, with only 12 staying in the hostel. The drastic drop on the enrolment and number of hostelites says a lot about the trust the Orang Asli parents have in the ability of the school to provide their children with a safe and conducive environment.
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MyKad ‘Islamisation’

by Martin Jalleh


Minister deserves a slap

By Martin Jalleh


New land policy for Orang Asli: boon or bane?

By Yip Ai Tsin | Feb 14, 10 2:56pm | Malaysiakini

A new land policy purported to be a boon for the 150,000-strong Orang Asli community has all but been received as good news, given the many questions surrounding the announcement, said activists.

Unless further details are forthcoming from the government, the policy announced by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin last December may even undermine the rights and interests of the Orang Asli, they alleged.

On Dec 4 last year, Muhyiddin announced that some 20,000 Orang Asli families will be given by state governments freehold land titles for residential use and for oil palm, rubber and other crop cultivation under an agreement between the government and developers.

The number made up 72 per cent of the total of 27,841 Orang Asli families and involve 50,563.51 hectares of land in Peninsular Malaysia, said Muhyiddin according to reports.
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Orang Asli call for recognition of their Ancestral Land

By Augustine Anthony & Bah Tony William Hunt

On 04.12.2009 it was reported in the New Straits Times that some 19,990 Orang Asli families will receive freehold land titles. 

It would generally be expected that the Orang Asli communities will be elated with this announcement but strangely far from being overjoyed with this news, the Orang Asli communities are unhappy and restless.

They ask whether the “receiving” of freehold land titles from the government would mean that they are seen as abandoning their struggle in calling for the government to formally recognize their ancestral lands which they had occupied for generations.

Other concerns of these communities with this government initiative includes the likely breakdown of their traditional communal lifestyle where the land hereon will be treated as individual ownership as opposed to the long entrenched communal ownership  practised by them.
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Penans – Last of our Mohicans?

By Hussein Hamid

In September 2008 The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) media release said in essence that:

“Penan women from the Middle Baram area of Sarawak are launching a cry of alarm to the international community over cases of sexual abuse by logging company workers in the East Malaysian state’s rainforests.

The Penan are accusing workers from Interhill and Samling, two Malaysian logging companies, of harassing and raping Penan women, including schoolgirls. They come on an almost weekly basis, but the situation is worst during the school holidays when they know the students are in the villages.

In other cases, school transports operated by company vehicles had been arranged in such a way that schoolgirls had to stay overnight at a logging camp, where they were abused.

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JOAS condemns arrest of Committee Member, reiterates call for moratorium on development projects

JOAS condemns arrest of Committee Member, reiterates call for moratorium on development projects
13 August 2009

JOAS condemns the arrest of Matek anak Geram early this morning by the police for the crime of allegedly restraining the workers of an oil palm plantation. He was taken into custody by ten fully-armed police personnel at 8.45am and detained for two hours at the Mukah Police Station and charged for allegedly wrongfully restraining the workers of an oil palm plantation company, Saradu Plantations Sdn Bhd. under section 341 of the Penal Code before being released on bail.

Matek, an Iban farmer, a member of TAHABAS (Sarawak Native Customary Rights Network) and Committee Member of JOAS was unarmed when he was arrested by the fully-armed police. For over a year, Matek and his immediate family have been guarding their property against Saradu Plantations who have been encroaching on their native lands. In individual shifts, they have blocked an access road built on their land. JOAS questions the heavy use of force and intimidation against one unarmed man and calls for neutrality of the state infrastructure in this legal dispute between the private company and indigenous peoples.
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Penan Starvation: People First, Performance Now?

by Augustine Anthony

Time and again I have said that our country is a land of milk and honey but we now suffer a well entrenched system of governance that betrays its own people.

The news report in Utusan Online under caption “Lebih 3,000 Penan kebuluran” is one by product of a system failure.

Malaysia is seen on many occasions as a generous contributor whenever there are calamities around the world. Some of the aids that are despatched are laudably swift, perhaps within days or weeks of such calamities.

Of course we welcome such generosity of Malaysia. But what about our own backyard?
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Orang Asli in Perak and the 6th Bushido Code

by Augustine Anthony

I joked candidly that M. Kula, the Ipoh Barat Member of Parliament must have been an Orang Asli in his past life because of his concern and support for my work with the indigenous people of this country. He revved his 4WD on a precariously winding road in the secondary forest that was once ravished and ravaged by the greed of men and narrowly missed the ravine that would have taken all those in the vehicle into the river below.

“You need not be an Orang Asli headman in your past life”, M. Kula was quick with a reply without even looking at me. An instantaneous and poignant response expected of a man who confronts an assortment of rotting issues that emanates unwelcome stench in our midst.

I knew what he was trying to tell me.

The journey beyond that was a humourless exchange of thoughts about the promises and betrayal of Orang Asli for the last 52 years. Though living with physical independence but sadly chained and shackled with a mind of perpetual dependence. Read the rest of this entry »


RMK9 – Does It Benefit The Orang Asli?

This is my exchange in Parliament with the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Tan Sri Muhamad Muhamad Taib on the plight of the Orang Asli in Malaysia 51 years after Merdeka during the 2009 Budget debate in early November.

The only way to end the decades-long neglect of the Orang Asli community in Malaysia is to mainstream the problems of Orang Asli and the following letter is a welcome beginning for such a mainstreaming process.
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JHEOA benefited bureaucrats for 50 years but not Orang Asli

I congratulated the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib for getting the nomination for the contest for Umno Deputy President though I remarked that his integrity was questioned by none other than his former boss and former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

(This was what Mahathir said on November 12, 2008 on Mohammad’s successful nomination for the Umno Deputy President contest: “I think there is a lot of hanky panky going on. When you know that someone has a bad history is still getting support, I think that bad history has relevance to his support.”)

This was my preface when seeking clarifications during Muhammad’s winding-up of his Ministry during the 2009 Budget committee stage debate.

Muhammd put up a stoic front and refused to be drawn into responding to Mahathir’s remarks although there was the usual raucous yelling and protests by the UMNO parliamentary jeer-leaders. Read the rest of this entry »



Orang Asli allocations – not how much but what reaches them

The Budget states that the government is committed to improving the quality of life of Orang Asli, allocating RM170 million to the Department of Orang Asli Affairs to carry out numerous programmes and projects.

We should listen to the views of the Orang Asli community, and the following are some feedback from the Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC).

With regard to the financing of Orang Asli development, the issue is not how much is allocated in the annual budget but how much actually reaches the Orang Asli in real terms, in concrete benefits. Read the rest of this entry »