GUA MUSANG, June 23 — The bodies of five Orang Asli from the Batek tribe who were believed to have died of measles were given a final prayer at the Tengku Faez Petra Mosque, Gua Musang before being buried at the Kampung Kuala Koh Muslim Cemetery today.
The funeral prayer was led by Imam Tua Othman Saufi and joined by more than 20 representatives of the various government departments and agencies in the district including the Religious Officer of the Kelantan Islamic Religion and Malay Customs Council (MAIK), Murtadha Abdullah.
Earlier, 15 Orang Asli bodies were taken out of the Forensic Room of the Gua Musang Hospital (HGM) at 8.30am to be taken to the mosque for prayers before being brought to Kampung Kuala Koh for burial.
The bodies were those of Poja Jong, 21, Romi Hamdan, 29, Nazri Rosli, 3, Jaid Keladi, 55, Safia Papan, 18, Fayah Papan, 20, Din Hamdan, 18, Mek Nab Tebu, 63, Leha Hamdan, 26, Mohd Salleh Khaizan, 1, Jelik Jong and Puspa Lee, 5, Amir Lee, 1, Haika Rahim, 22 and Farah Rahim, 20.
The epidemic that hit the Batek tribe for more than one month had killed 15 people from Kampung Kuala Koh while another 112 were infected with measles and receiving treatment at the clinics nearby.
Fourteen of the 15 bodies had to be exhumed, including those who were buried according to the tribal customs, for examination at the HGM to determine the cause of infection.
Murtadha told the media after the funeral prayers that MAIK had been appointed right from the start to manage all the bodies from the funeral prayers right up to the burial.
He said all the transactions after the completion of the autopsy at the HGM were borne by MAIK and everything went according to schedule.
“The burial according to Islamic procedures also received the permission of the victims’family members after discussions were carried out recently,”he said.
Meanwhile, Kuala Koh OCPD Supt Mohd Taufik Maidin said, Kampung Kuala Koh was still designated as a red zone area.
“As such, people who had no business to be in the area were not allowed to enter the village until it had been completely safe from infection from the disease,”he said. — Bernama