KOTA BARU, June 8 — Urgent action must be taken to save the Bateq tribe of the Orang Asli community in Kuala Koh who are facing health threats, says Kelantan Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Senator Datuk Husam Musa.
Husam said investigations should be carried out if the deaths of the community members were due to the contamination of a pond they depended on as their water source.
“Immediate measures to supply clean water should be implemented and the impact of the nearby iron ore mining plant should also be investigated and addressed.
“It is an unfortunate event that the Orang Asli community who is lagging behind in all aspects, is forced to face another hardship to the extent of losing their family members, including children (to the illness).
“More important is that the surviving members of the community can be saved,” he said in a statement here today.
He also called on all the relevant agencies to look into the issue and take proactive measures to save the victims.
Meanwhile, Gua Musang district police chief Supt Taufik Maidin today denied that two Orang Asli residents in Kampung Kuala Koh had died from mysterious illness on May 29 and yesterday.
Taufik was also reported to be refuting the Orang Asli’s claims that 13 residents had died from an illness as the police only received reports of two deaths thus far.
A Malay daily recently reported that members of the Orang Asli community in Kuala Koh live in fear after they claimed that 13 residents, including one-year-old baby, had died due to an illness throughout the Ramadan month. — Bernama