KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government views seriously the deaths among the Bateq tribe of the Orang Asli community in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, Kelantan.
She said the allegations that the deaths were due to contamination of a pond the Orang Asli depended on as their water source will be investigated thoroughly.
The authorities, she said, would look into mining and logging activities in the vicinity to see if all proper procedures in relation to the environment had been adhered to.
“The government will take stern action against the culprits if found the deaths were caused by contamination of the Orang Asli water source,” she said in a statement here today.
Dr Wan Azizah also said that the government would also examine the environment policies in relation to logging and mining activities, especially in light of the plight of the Orang Asli.
“Stricter enforcement and more deterrent measures are some of the steps that must be looked into,” said the deputy prime minister who also admitted that she was deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of the Orang Asli.
“My prayers are with the families of those who perished and those who are currently undergoing treatment,” she added. — Bernama