Jaringan Orang Asal Se-Malaysia (Joas) has described the handouts under Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's Budget 2016 as “patronising” for the indigenous community.
It added the budget continues to ignore the need for long-term reforms, including calls for the abolition of the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) which has been criticised as ineffective.
Instead, Joas noted Najib had allocated another RM60 million to Jakoa to build longhouses.
"Other handouts such as pocket money for school children, clearly shows that the budget remains patronising, short-sighted, without consideration of urgent long-term changes, such as the revamping the education system to make it culturally-appropriate for the Orang Asli," it said in a statement today.
Joas also described Najib's announced RM29.2 billion allocation for Sabah and Sarawak to be unrealistic under the current economic climate and was a case of vote-buying.
Meanwhile, the Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Association (Poasm) said it was thankful for the RM300 million allocation for the community in Peninsular Malaysia but hoped for a bigger allocation in future, according to Bernama .
Poasm said the allocation should be at par with the sum allocated for the indigenous community in Sabah and Sarawak.
"The Orang Asli need to move to new economic fields. The forest areas have declined and so have the forest products," he was quoted as saying.
As such, Majid proposed for more human capital development programmes for the Orang Asli community.