YOURSAY | ‘Leaders seem like they’re doing the bare minimum until the Orang Asli vanish from Earth.’
Kepala Tak Centre: Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) executive director Colin Nicholas believes that environmental destruction is to blame for the Bateq villagers being unable to practice their way of life and becoming malnourished, and therefore susceptible to illness.
The PAS-led Kelantan government needs to answer for this.
BA Baracus: Is it any coincidence that this occurred in Kelantan, where the PAS state government doesn’t even recognise native customary land? Worse still, within Gua Musang, where the state government violated the land rights of the Temiar.
I wonder where all the donations after the massive 2014 floods disappeared to. Apparently into thin air, because as Nicholas states the Orang Asli have been facing water contamination issues since.
But what to expect? The PAS government can’t even pay its civil servants salaries without federal help. It is a hollow vessel of a party, ratcheting up racial and religious tensions to mask its complete and utter inability to lead the state.
When BN and PAS talk about bumiputera rights being neglected, the distance of Orang Asli from their minds is as great as that between Los Angeles and Tokyo.
No, they only mean that a certain community – a certain class from that community – are not enjoying more perks than they are already blessed with.
However, this isn’t PAS’ fault alone. Look at the handling and reporting of the incident. One might think that Kuala Koh is located in some faraway land, with authorities only realising the outbreak of an epidemic after a month.
And then trying – and failing – to do a cover-up job by claiming only two deaths. Compare and contrast this with the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple riots. One death, over six months ago, and how much tearing at the social fabric has that caused?
There has been and continues to be complete neglect of the Orang Asli at every level of governance.
The endgame is clear – the leaders, whether in BN, PAS or Pakatan Harapan, are just holding their breath and doing the bare minimum until all these Orang Asli communities vanish from the face of the Earth.
Wsoi: These cruel and useless PAS leaders only know how to cut down the state’s trees.
So many Kelantanese live in poverty, and that’s why they keep voting for PAS. Wait for worse to come as the economy goes down further.
Anonymous_770241447347646: It is sad to see 14 Bateq villagers die in one area. It definitely raises serious issues.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has vowed stern action against the culprits if the deaths were indeed caused by contamination of their water source by miners and loggers.
But why so late before any action is taken? Why was there even an attempt to cover up the number of deaths by the police? What are the authorities concerned trying to hide? Even now there does not seem to any serious attempt to find out the cause and stop further deaths from occurring.
The whole area should be sealed and Health Department officers sent to test the waters of the lake. Other forensics officers should be sent to the nearby iron ore factory to check whether any of the chemicals have been leaked into the lake.
There should be serious efforts taken, but this looks like sheer lackadaisical attitude. It raises the question of the seriousness of the attempt to uncover the truth. And it also raises the question of whether it is because the dead are Orang Asli.
Fyddeep: Wan Azizah should look at the people who approved the licences for mining and logging factory rather than the ones doing the work.
Mano: Gua Musang police chief Mohd Taufik Maidin “denied claims by locals that 13 villagers had died due to the outbreak, claimed to be due to water contamination from a nearby iron ore mine.”
Then tell us how 14 people suddenly drop dead. Is this police standard operating procedure? Similar to the Subang police chief in the immediate aftermath of the Seafield temple fiasco?
The deaths occurred over a month. And only now we are finding out about this? Only now the ministers are descending upon Kuala Koh?
Oh right, this is not Mont Kiara or Hartamas. Only the Orang Asli, after all.
Dharma: When Umno and PAS take to the streets, the Harapan government responds immediately.
But when the nation's indigenous people – the true bumiputera – are victimised like this, the response is much slower.
Drngsc: Sloppy, just sloppy. Even the post-mortems are sloppy. Pneumonia just simply means inflammation of the lungs.
We are more concerned about the cause of lung inflammation. Is it a new form of virus? Is it tuberculosis? Is it toxic chemicals?
Sure, the forensic pathologist doing the post-mortem has to be better. Were secretions taken for culture? The public have a right to know. What if it is a new form of bacterial or parasites causing pneumonia and death?
Dear health minister and Health Department director-general, buck up. Please do not be so sloppy.
Kent Rampala: Pneumonia? This is a broad diagnosis. We are in 2019. We have the physicians, medicines and diagnostic tools. No one should be dying of pneumonia.
What is the causing factor? Bacteria, fungus, virus or toxic agent?
Darmakochi: I hope there will be a swift and proper investigation by the federal government since the state government always appears unbothered about affairs of the Orang Asli.
Steven Ong: Did Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waythamoorthy really clear the confusion or just give a statement?
Are we supposed to trust a government official just because they are from the government? What about what the Orang Asli activists have been saying?
JBond: The glaring truth about Orang Asli welfare - who cares? It seems to be a case of ‘If they die, they die.’
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