PARLIAMENT | The Prime Minister's Department has painted a bleak picture of the state of the Bateq Orang Asli tribe.
In a parliamentary written reply, it said the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) has no record of any high-achieving students, university graduates or civil servants.
"Overall, the educational achievement of the Bateq tribe between 1998 and 2018 is poor, with a high illiteracy rate.
"According to Jakoa's records, there is no high-achieving student in primary and secondary school, no university graduate and no one works as a civil servant," it said.
The written reply, dated July 4, was in response to Lim Kit Siang (Harapan-Iskandar Puteri) asking for various statistics relating to the tribe.
It said based on a 2010 census, the Bateq numbered 1,447 people.
"The Bateq Orang Asli tribe still maintain a traditional semi-nomadic way of life and have low self-esteem," it said.
The tribe came under the spotlight after 15 people from a Bateq village in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang died recently from measles, a preventable disease.
The disease affected more than half of the village's population of 185.
The Health Ministry later found that the villagers were suffering from malnourishment and had not been vaccinated.