Harapan finding ways to solve Orang Asli woes - Waythamoorthy

Modified 11 Jan 2019, 8:37 am

CAMERON POLLS | The Pakatan Harapan government is finding ways to solve the woes of the Orang Asli community, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy.

In a statement today, he said that based on discussions held with different sections of the community, the government has found that the problems faced by Orang Asli nationwide were about the same.

"The issues that have been raised (by the Orang Asli community) were about basic necessities, customary land, road connectivity, housing, education and scholarship for their children.

"Harapan as the new government is working to find a way to solve these problems," Waythamoorthy said in the statement, which was issued after he visited the Orang Asli at Kampung Leryar and Pos Menson in Cameron Highlands earlier today.

He, however, said he could not promise a timeline for the problems to be addressed.

Pointing out that the woes were found in almost every Orang Asli village, Waythamoorthy said he needed time to study the issues and work something out.

"I do not want to promise (that these can be solved) in three or six months. This is because the problems are not only found in Cameron Highlands, but in almost all Orang Asli villages.

"So, I am asking for some time for my officers and I to study the issues faced by Orang Asli and to find solutions."

Orang Asli groups and advocates for their rights had been urging the Harapan government to look into the indigenous people's plight, and pay attention to Suhakam's report on the community.

Following a roundtable meeting between Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa), Orang Asli group representatives and activists last week, Waythamoorthy had told the media that recommendations and feedback received during the meeting would be brought to the National Orang Asli Conference scheduled for Jan 18.

This was after he had initially released a statement saying that the conference would be held today in Cameron Highlands.

He had said the meeting was aimed at discussing suggestions to resolve the long-standing issues of the 200,000-strong Orang Asli community in the country.

However, it could not be ascertained if the conference would take place on Jan 18. Malaysiakini has contacted Jakoa and is awaiting its response.

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