KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The Prime Minister’s Department (National Unity and Social Wellbeing) has realised various achievements in strengthening community unity and empowering the Orang Asli and Indian communities in the country.
Various strategies and programmes had been drafted by three key agencies under the Ministry, namely, Department of National Unity and Integration (JPNIN), Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) and the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) in the 18 months under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
The ministry, in a statement, said the JPNIN framework had been refined to enhance government cooperation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to achieve the objective of enhancing community cohesion through various initiatives and activities.
It included the launch of the National Unity Index 2018 (IPNas) in collaboration with the National Integration Research and Training Institute (IKLIN), which among others, became a benchmark in measuring the levels of achievements in national unity and harmony.
Under the National Social Unity and Integration Division (KSNIN), 30 My Rukun Negara programmes, 10 Cross Cultural Rukun Negara club module activities and 20 Teacher Quality Improvement programmes were conducted.
The 35-page achievement report card also touched on the approach taken by Jakoa through strategic cooperation and engagements with NGOs and Orang Asli professionals in shaping the direction of the community.
On the whole, the government has provided basic facilities such as electricity, clean water and roads in over 80 per cent of the 853 Orang Asli villages nationwide.
Last April, the National Orang Asli Convention (KOAK) 2019 was also held in Putrajaya which was attended by 1,069 participants comprising Orang Asli leaders, professionals, youth and women, academics, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Orang Asli NGOs and related government agencies.
At the convention, 137 resolutions were received covering seven main focus areas, namely, land, education, health, economy, leadership, infrastructure and culture as per the Manifesto Promise 38, in the PH government Manifesto.
In an effort to uphold the customs and traditions of the Orang Asli community, JAKOA had established two museums housing various historical information and artifacts of the community, namely, the Gombak Orang Asli Museum in Selangor and the Jeli Orang Asli Museum in Kelantan as a source of knowledge.
In addition, 204 commercial rubber and oil palm plantation projects were implemented in collaboration with the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) comprising 154 projects and the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) with 50 projects.
The projects, developed on 30,000 hectares of land, had benefited 13,021 Orang Asli participants with a monthly dividend payment of between RM350 and RM1,000 depending on the performances of the plantations and national commodity prices.
As for MITRA, the government had refined and improved its selection system and screening of the funds management (of MITRA) to ensure a more transparent and efficient process.
Towards this end, 600 NGOs and industry experts were invited to identify the real problems of the grassroots community in formulating MITRA’s strategic plan with RM99.3 million in funding allocation having been processed involving 400 NGOs in the effort to improve the socio-economic status of the Indian community. — Bernama