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Three years after Orang Asli kids perish, minister to request for new school

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Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy said he will raise the Orang Asli community's request for a new school closer to their village, following a visit to Pos Simpor, Gua Musang in Kelantan.

He said the community was still traumatised by the incident when seven schoolchildren went missing in 2015, with only two found alive after 47 days.

"They want a primary school not too far from Pos Simpor. They still have not recovered from the trauma of the 2015 incident. I have also spoken to the survivors and it is clear that they are traumatised,” he said in a statement today.

He noted many of the children in Pos Simpor were still not attending school and will raise the matter with the Education Ministry for a solution.

At present, the nearest school is in another settlement in Pos Tohoi.

On August 23, 2015, seven school children of SK Tohoi ran away into the jungle for fear of punishment after being caught swimming in a river without permission.

They had tried to find their way home, but never showed up. Some 200 soldiers and helicopters were mobilised to search for the students.

Only two children, Misudiar Alui and Norieen Yaakob, who were 11 and 10 respectively at the time, were found in a gaunt state after surviving off grass and wild berries for more than a month.

The skeletal remains of the other five were later found.

Since then, there has been a significant drop in the number of Orang Asli students turning up for school at SK Tohoi.

On a separate matter, Waythamoorthy stressed the need for tarred roads to connect Orang Asli settlements and the outside world, stating that the current logging tracks were inadequate.

He also raised the matter of the upcoming national Orang Asli conference next month which he said will help chart a plan to uplift the community.

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