The truth about the Orang Asli in Bandar Muadzam Shah, Pahang — Kalimullah Hassan

FEBRUARY 16 — Photographer S C Shekar is Malaysia’s leading photojournalist. He doesn’t make up stories. He has been filming and photographing the Orang Asli in the landfill for a year, at least.

When he sought my help to fund the OA, I decided to go there myself and have a look.

They have been there for so long, since when DRB Hicom owned the concession till the new concession holder took over in December last year. The new concession holders Greenviro Solutions Sdn Bhd's chairman is Datuk Syamshuar Husin.

Greenviro Solutions Sdn Berhad wrote me an email yesterday saying they wanted to work with us to solve issues facing the OA on their landfill which they inherited. And I will work with them to do so.

I can understand why the headman is backtracking from what he told us. Poor people under pressure have little choice.

The officials — in this case JAKOA — by pretending the problem doesn’t exist — doesn’t make it go away. By pretending it doesn’t exist will only ensure the Orang Asli will die a slow death.

No where did anyone say they live on the landfill. They told us they “live off the landfill”. I spoke to the headman myself. Their settlement is about 10 minutes away — with no running water and no electricity. That’s a FACT.

It’s easy to check whether their children go to school. The reporter just has to ask them which school and then check with the school whether they attend the school.

Their houses have no running water and electricity. That’s a FACT. And it’s easily checked by a reporter willing to go to the ground.

As far as I am concerned, the ECM Libra Foundation will provide them assistance as we have done over the last decade with many Orang Asli settlements in Perak and Negri Sembilan — WITHOUT any help from JAKOA.

* Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan is chairman of ECM LIBRA FOUNDATION

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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