KOTA BARU: The Kelantan/Terengganu Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) is confident the standard of living for the Orang Asli will be improved with the allocation of RM110 million as announced in the 2018 Budget today.
Its deputy director Azman Ngatiron said the education of Orang Asli children would also be improved with the allocation given.
"This RM50 million allocation to improve the standard of living and the economic development of the Orang Asli community will benefit the Orang Asli.
"It will also reduce the gap between Orang Asli schoolchildren and non-Orang Asli students," he said.
Meanwhile, an Orang Asli Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) known as Jaringan thanked the government for the two allocations.
However, its secretary Mustapa Along hoped that the relevant departments as well as the state government would monitor the upcoming projects smoothly.
"There are more than 20,000 Orang Asli in Kelantan and of course, they are happy with the news as it will benefit them a lot in terms of development, and also education.
"However, I would like to urge the department and the Pas state government to monitor the allocated projects so that a repeat incident where many projects are damaged due to contractors using cheap building materials for the construction,can be avoided," he said.
Mustapa said an underground water project in Kuala Betis, Gua Musang did not function well and this had upset the Orang Asli.
Prime Minister and Finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced in the 2018 Budget today that the government has allocated about RM60 million to the Orang Asli Village Integrated Development Programme.
He also announced another RM50 million allocation to improve the standard of living and the economic development of the Orang Asli community.
He said the aid would be channeled through various programmes including food aid which would benefit almost 5,000 Orang Asli students.