PEKAN, July 7 — The Orang Asli in Batu Gong near here, having discharged their responsibility as voters in the Chini state by-election last Saturday, are now hoping that the new elected-representative can help them to get electricity and clean water supply, as well as tarred roads in their settlement.
There are about 40 Orang Asli families living in the area, located about a kilometre from the Segamat-Kuantan Expressway.
It is learned that efforts to bring electricity and clean water supply to the area have been hampered as the houses there are sparsely located, unlike in other Orang Asli settlements in the Chini state constituency.
Kampung Gantung Geriang Orang Asli chieftain, Tom Busu, 63, said the people in the village pooled funds to buy fuel for the generator so that they would not be in darkness during the night.
He said that during the early implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the residents, who are mostly self-employed and rubber tappers, had no money and had to ration out fuel by using kerosene lamps.
“Even by going into the jungle now, it cannot ensure us of good income,” he told Bernama.
Tom, of the Jakun tribe, said the generator he shared with six other houses was a second-hand one bought about five years ago for about RM3,000, and was no longer functioning well.
On water supply, he said, the residents used well water and also from the drain.
“Hence, we hope the government can provide us with clean water supply, like being enjoyed by residents in other villages,” said Tom, who has 14 children.
For Yatim Bakar, 61, the village should have been supplied with electricity as there were electricity poles already erected for the Hardcore Housing Project (PPRT) nearby.
“Our village is not far from the main road. There are already electric poles nearby and why not extend the electricity supply to our village. It’s not even a kilometre away, ”he added.
Meanwhile, Miah Chik, 53, urged the government to consider building a paved road to link the village to the main road.
There may be some hope for the residents when newly-elected Chini assemblyman Mohd Sharim Md Zain keeps the promises he made during the recent by-election campaign that he would focus on developing Felda, traditional and Orang Asli villages.
Mohd Sharim, 41, promised to make sure everybody in the constituency would get the government’s attention.