The Ministry of Human Resources is committed to driving change and focusing on empowering the Orang Asli community, which is long overdue.
Its minister, M Kulasegaran, said it was to ensure the indigenous people had the same education, training and employment opportunities as the majority of the people in Malaysia.
"In all respects, we cannot deny that the most marginalised community in our country is the Orang Asli community of 200,000," he said in a statement.
"Due to the rapid development of our country, the areas they inhabit have been taken over and they have to move frequently."
Kulasegaran said several initiatives were taken to carry out this responsibility, for example, on Nov 2 last year, he met with representatives of the Orang Asli community from around Cameron Highlands, Pahang to discuss the key aspects of the community empowerment programme.
He said several skills courses identified with the potential to improve the economic status of the Orang Asli community would be offered to them at the Department of Human Resources Skills Training Institute (ILJTM) which offers Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM 1-3), diplomas and short courses.
"Their involvements in the programmes not only introduce them to new skills but enhance their interactive skills with other students," he said.
On Jan 21 to 22, Kulasegaran said 78 Orang Asli youths were brought to the Industrial Training Institute (ILP) of Ipoh, Perak to be introduced to the skills courses offered at the training centre.
He said he would also attend a special programme in Kampung Sungai Ruil, Cameron Highlands, on March 28 to monitor and supervise the development of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme co-ordinated by 11 Orang Asli youths with the help of the staff of Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB).
The ministry together with Asyik FM Radio Station would be co-operating on a TVET advocacy programme in Kampung Ringin, Cameron Highlands, from Jan 24 to 26, covering various activities such as ceramics skills demonstration, basic electrical workshop, pipe installation, and introduction to the use of the chain saw, he said. — Bernama