Orang Asli find it hard to survive in urban jungle

LETTERS: THE Association for Community and Dialogue (ACID) welcomes the effort of the Human Resources Ministry in reaching out and introducing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) education to the Orang Asli.

For example, Institute Latihan Perindustrian (ILP) Jelapang Ipoh, which is a TVET school, has enrolled 17 Orang Asli students.

Last year, seven Orang Asli students joined ILP.

Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran has handed out the basic necessities for Orang Asli students at ILP.

It shows the government is serious in implementing the shared prosperity vision, which includes all Malaysians.

The indigenous people who live in the remote areas face challenges related to their social economic wellbeing, besides being victims of loggers who encroach on their land, take away their livelihood and destroy the ecosystem.

When they move out to seek jobs and education, they need to make a long journey to the towns and they have little financial means to survive in urban settings.

Recently, I met two Orang Asli who came to Ipoh from a remote area in Gerik seeking jobs.

They told my colleague that they paid RM100 to get here by boat.

In terms of education, they lack language and technical skills.

There were times when I interviewed a few Orang Asli to work at a hotel but I could not reach them to tell them they had been hired as they had gone back to their villages.

In this context, it is not merely about enrolment in TVET institutions, but also providing communication infrastructure
in remote areas, transportation subsidies and accommodation for Orang Asli who
want to study and stay in urban areas.

It is commendable that ILP Ipoh has provided a hostel for orang Asli students.

The Human Resources Ministry’s effort is laudable but we need to address the human capital development of Orang Asli nationwide by providing support for them in the city.

RONALD BENJAMIN

Secretary, Association for Community and Dialogue

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/02/565042/orang-asli-find-it-hard-survive-urban-jungle