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TANJUNG MALIM, April 6 — The Orang Asli community in the rural areas should not be sidelined in getting the Covid-19 vaccination, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said.
He said the lack of facilities such as internet access in their settlements was not an excuse for Orang Asli to be left out in the programme, and urged the relevant agencies to try their best to reach out to the community.
“Despite the lack of internet access, the ministry together with the Health Ministry and Information Department are manually registering them in an integrated manner to receive the vaccine. We don’t want them to be left out when other communities are receiving their vaccine.”
He said this to reporters after launching the Malaysia Prihatin Covid-19 Immunisation programme for the Orang Asli community in Perak, in Kampung Sungai Teras in Slim River here, today.
On the programme, Zahidi said the ministry was collaborating with the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) and Information Department to provide more information and improve the group’s understanding of the Covid-19 vaccine, thus encouraging them to register as vaccine recipients.
The deputy minister said currently, the response from the Orang Asli community for the programme was not encouraging and in fact, they seemed afraid to get the vaccine.
“The response from the Orang Asli community is so low that some of them even run into the forest when we conduct the programme...they don’t want to take part in the programme.
“It is also not easy to get in (into their settlement) but when we say that we will bring musical instruments and such, they open up a little. Thank you Jakoa and the Information Department for being able to persuade them,” he said.
During the programme, Zahidi through the ministry also presented musical instruments to the Orang Asli community in the village. — Bernama