KUANTAN, Oct 6 — The government has been urged to provide an allocation to improve basic infrastructure facilities for the Orang Asli Community in the 2020 Budget to be tabled on October 11.
Senator Datuk Isa Ab Hamid said the allocation could be used for projects to upgrade roads as well as water and electrical supply.
“We need good roads because most of the Orang Asli settlements are located in the interior areas... this can be followed by upgrading the infrastructure for the supply of water and electricity.
“We previously supplied water to the Orang Asli settlements by building tube wells but the maintenance cost is very high, therefore we must come out with a solution,” he told reporters.
He said this after officiating the Pahang Orang Asli Sports and Culture Carnival 2019 at Universiti Malaysia Pahang Sports Complex in Gambang near here today.
Also present was Pahang Orang Asli Development Department director Johari Alwi.
Isa opined priority should be given to providing proper basic facilities to the Orang Asli community as it could help raise their socio-economic status.
“For example in Pos Sinderut, Lipis, we built a 25-kilometre road costing RM30 million. Before the road was built, the price for a bunch of bananas was only around 40 sen while durians were priced at between 50 sen and RM2 per kg.
“However, after the road was built, they can now sell a bunch of bananas for RM2 and the price of durian has also increased to RM5 per kg. This shows how important it is to provide basic amenities such as roads to the Orang Asli community,” he said. — Bernama