The Bateq tribe members in Gua Musang. Orang Asli groups have urged the government to focus on the development of the indigenous people. FILE PI C

THE Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Network hopes the government will focus on basic development involving the Orang Asli in the 2020 Budget, which will be tabled on Friday.

Its chairman, Tijah Yok Chopil, said basic development projects such as clean water supply, upgrading of village clinics and road repairs should be given priority as well as providing seeds and fertilisers so that the community could carry out agricultural activities to generate income.

“The focus is on the development budget because the Orang Asli are still lagging behind. Many roads to these villages are in disrepair and some are not tarred. There are also abandoned projects.

“We need to focus on the development of indigenous people first and less on programmes such as sports and motivation, in view of the current state of the economy.”

Tijah also suggested a monitoring body be set up to oversee the budget that would be allocated to the indigenous people next year so that it could be managed well.

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.

He said 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 effective as they can convey health information in their tribal language if they cannot understand other languages.”

Allen said special funds should be allocated for the training and development of indigenous youth involving entrepreneurship, industry, skills, technology and professional aspects.

“The funds can be managed by the Orang Asli Development Department and channelled to youth organisations for the purpose of organising and implementing the programmes.”

Allen said MBOAM hoped that the training and development programmes for the disabled among the Orang Asli community would be introduced by the government under the 2020 Budget. Bernama

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