KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Network (JKOAM) hopes that the government would focus on basic development involving the Orang Asli in Budget 2020 which will be tabled on Oct 11.
Its chairman, Tijah Yok Chopil, said that basic development projects such as clean water facilities, upgrading of village clinics and road repairs should be given priority as well as providing seeds and fertilizers so that the community could carry out agricultural activities to generate income.
“The focus is on the development budget because the Orang Asli development is still lagging behind, many roads to these villages are in disrepair, some have no tar roads, there are also abandoned projects and so on.
“Programmes such as sports and motivations previously organised should be discontinued as with the current state of the economy we must focus on the development of Indigenous people first,” she told Bernama.
Tijah also suggested that a monitoring body be set up to oversee the budget that will be allocated to the Indigenous people next year so that it can be managed well.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Orang Asli Youth Council (MBOAM) President Clive Allen Williams Hunt said in ensuring the development among the indigenous people, all aspects of economy, health and culture should be given focus.
According to him, the services of medical assistants among Orang Asli youth need to be re-established besides appointing them to fill positions at all levels either on a regular or contractual basis.
“This initiative is seen to be effective, as they can convey health information in their own tribal language because sometimes they cannot understand other languages,” he explained.
He added that special funds should be allocated for training and development of indigenous youth involving entrepreneurship, industry, skills, technology and professional aspects.
“The fund can be managed by the Orang Asli Development Department and channeled to youth organisations for the purpose of organising and implementing the programmes,” he said.
He said MBOAM also hoped that training and development programs for the disabled among the orang asli communities would also be introduced by the government in the 2020 budget.