TAPAH, Oct 17 — Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced a one-off payment of RM1,000 to each Tok Batin or Penghulu of Orang Asli communities nationwide.
He said, involving an allocation of RM624,000, it was a sign of the Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) government's appreciation for the contributions of Tok Batin and Penghulu in the development and preservation of heritage of the Orang Asli community.
"This also proves that the government has never sidelined the contributions of the Orang Asli community who are part of Keluarga Malaysia," he said at a "Meet and Greet" programme with Risda and Felcra smallholders and Orang Asli at Arena Merdeka here.
Also present were Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tapah.
Ismail Sabri said the government appreciated the role and hard work of Tok Batin and Penghulu in ensuring Orang Asli village level administration ran smoothly.
Recognising the importance of the institution, the caretaker prime minister said the government has also allocated an allowance amounting to RM6.739 million annually for a total of 624 Tok Batin and Penghulu.
According to him, the government has allocated RM2.7 million in the 2023 Budget to develop the economy of the youth in the Orang Asli community.
Ismail Sabri added that his government will always look after the welfare of the Orang Asli if it continues to be given a mandate in the 15th General Election (GE15) and continue to fight to solve some of the community's problems including land issues. — AFP