Government takes good care of Orang Asli during MCO – Tok Batin

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ALOR GAJAH, April 16 – Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Sebang Tok Batin (village head) Ripin Hamid and its residents, here, have expressed gratitude and thanks to the government for effectively taking good care of the community during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Tok Batin Ripin, 70, said various agencies such as the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) and state government agencies had handed out numerous aid comprising daily necessities to help lighten their burdens and those of other Orang Asli in the surrounding villages.

The village residents and himself provided for their families by tapping rubber, but the MCO hampered their movements to tap and sell their output, other than the less encouraging prices of the commodity lately, which were bringing difficulties to their daily lives.

“However the government is not abandoning us to face it alone, many came to help us. Later, some asked me as Tok Batin if there were anything else that we need such as milk for children, which will also be given. We are really thankful to the government,” said Tok Batin Ripin, who had three children, to reporters here, today.

Earlier, Tok Batin Ripin and the residents of the village received essential items from the Musa’adah COVID-19 Fund from JAKIM which were handed over by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

Another villager, Rogayah Anon, 52, said the contributions which were given by the government through numerous agencies especially daily essential items such as rice, sugar, cooking oil and children milk formula greatly helped the less fortunate like her.

“The town folk would see the items inside the plastic bag as something ordinary or negligible, but they are substantial to us. I collect these items and use them thriftily, so they would last especially since the fasting month is just round the corner, we cannot afford to waste, must use wisely,” she said.

JAKIM preacher Md Sabran Sidek said, besides federal government agencies, states agencies such as the Melaka Islamic Religious Council (MAIM) were also concerned about the Orang Asli community, ensuring they were not impacted by the MCO and COVID-19.

“They cannot go out to work so the contributions, more or less, would help to ease their burden. MAIM is also giving a monthly aid to them, as well as JAKAO. They have sufficient items of need with the contributions provided,” he said.

He said the contributions from JAKIM today, each comprising essential items worth RM50 and RM100 in cash, were given to 44 Orang Asli household heads.

Meanwhile in JOHOR BAHRU, Orang Asli families in the district of Kota Tinggi, who were affected by the MCO, today received contributions in the form of essential items.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Tanjung Sedili maritime zone director Maritime Captain Mohd Zulfadli Nayan said the contributions were from the Orang Asli COVID-19 Fund, comprising donations from several non-governmental organisations (NGO), namely, Impian Malaysia, Centre for Orang Asli Concerns and Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur.

Leading Rate Maritime (Laskar Kanan Maritim) Corporal Nurul Syakila Suzanaliana Saling, who is an Orang Asli, also helped to hand over the items in several areas namely Kampung Orang Asli Sayong Pinang, Pasir Intan and Sungai Selangi.

“It is hoped that the contributions via a MMEA-NGO collaboration will help lighten the burden of the Orang Asli who are also impacted during the MCO, which is extended until April 28,” according to a statement, here today.