Visitors told to get Jakoa permit before entering Orang Asli villages to avoid spread of Covid-19, says deputy minister

Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad said besides breaching the regulations imposed by the NSC, it was feared that these people could spread the virus to the Orang Asli community. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad said besides breaching the regulations imposed by the NSC, it was feared that these people could spread the virus to the Orang Asli community. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — Individuals, groups or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) must get a permit from the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) before organising any community service programme or sending aid to Orang Asli settlements.

Deputy Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad in a statement today said this is in accordance with Section 14 and Section 15 of the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 or Act 134.

He said the matter was raised as several people and NGOs had entered the Orang Asli villages without permission, to organise breaking of fast programme or send aid, adding that some had come from Covid-19 red zone areas.

Abdul Rahman said besides breaching the regulations imposed by the National Security Council (MKN), it was feared that these people could spread the virus to the Orang Asli community.

“As such Jakoa is appealing to all individuals, groups and NGOs to comply with this directive, more so with the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country,” he said.

Jakoa would also like to thank all parties who had shown their concern and had been working together with the department to assist the Orang Asli community by giving welfare assistance, but we need to stress that safety is our main concern, he added. — Bernama

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