KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Nor drew the eyes of everyone in the Dewan Rakyat today in his debut debating the King’s speech.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker was wearing a special headgear called a tanjak ketua which he said had been gifted him by his constituents in the Pahang highlands.
“I wore this as a symbol, as the first Orang Asli in Dewan Rakyat. This is my first speech, the voice of Orang Asli in Dewan Rakyat.
“I feel proud and have done this as an acknowledgement for the Orang Asli community,” he told reporters in Parliament later.
Ramli said the tanjak is usually worn by the chief of the Semai group known as the Tok Batin, during special occasions.
He said Semai is one of the 18 ethic Orang Asli groups in the peninsula and is one of the largest tribes.
Though he said traditionally he would not be considered the chief of the Orang Asli, but it is represented through the symbolism of his representation in Parliament.
Some of the eight issues highlighted by Ramli in Dewan Rakyat earlier include education, economy, wages of the Orang Asli community, infrastructure, and the land of the Orang Asli.
“I also brought up that JAKOA needs to have a strategic planning and that the Federal government needs to have a five-year-plan for the Orang Asli community,” he said in reference to the Orang Asli Development Department.
Ramli had won the Cameron Highland seat under a Barisan Nasional ticket by a 3,238-vote majority against Pakatan Harapan candidate M. Manogaran.