JHEOA: Hidup segan, mati tak mahu

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Orang Asli kata “pergi!”… tetapi JHEOA sendiri masih terhegeh-hegeh kata pelindung and pejuang Orang Asli, demikan kata Tijal Yok Chopil.

Pertama-tamanya saya ingin menegaskan bahawa dalam dunia ini tiada manusia dan makluk yang perlu dibertahu bahawa dia sedang kelaparan/kebuluran dan perlu cari makan. Oleh yang demikian kebangkitan Orang Asli sekarang adalah atas dasar kesedaran sendiri bahawa kami selama ini sudah penat ditindas; penindasnya pula bukan hanya oleh berbagai pihak tetapi oleh pihak jabatan sendiri; TIDAK perlu dipengerahui! tidak perlu diberitahu! tidak perlu dihasut!…jika hampir 51 tahun OA dibawah naungan dan perlindungan dan pengawasan JHEOA, kami menduduki carta miskin tegar;
 
1.  Nama OA dipergunakan oleh pihak jabatan; peruntukan untuk OA, projek TSK orang Asli, hospital OA, kenderaan OA, bangunan OA dan berbagai OA lagi…. tapi yang jelas dan yang semua orang telah dan sedang lihat adalah Orang Asli semakin miskin tegar!… Orang Asli kuli atas tanah dan projek yang dikatakan untuk OA… OA semakin merempat!
 
2. OA bukan dipengaruhi! Tetapi kami OA sendiri yang terpaksa mencari/merayu bantuan dari orang atau badan lain yang lebih perihatin dan berperikemanusiaan – kerana kami mendapati JHEOA sudah tidak boleh dipercayaai! tidak boleh diharap! tidak berguna! jual Orang Asli! … makan duit OA!…mempergunakan OA! memesongkan OA supaya menjadi pak turut, jadi penakut! menjadi bodoh! menjadi buta dan bisu!…selama ini… 51 tahun.
 
3.  Adakah kami dihasut?
    –    bila seluruh projek TSK dalam projek RPS yang kononnya untuk OA dengan keluasan enam ekar seorang, tetapi OA terlibat hanya dapat dividen M400 setiap dua bulan sekali! – itupun setelah Orang Asli terlibat membuat bising atau mempersoalkan perkara tersebut jika tidak dividen hanya akan diperolehi setahun sekali atau setahun dua kali sebanyak RM400….
    –    bila tanah dan segala sumber, sejarah, usaha-usaha dan sebagainya OA dipaksa dan terpaksa tinggalkan dan berambus ke kawasan baru yang tidak ada apa-apa serta tanpa sebarang pampasan…  Semuanya menurut JHEOA demi pembangunan negara dan OA diharuskan terima tanpa ada peluang dan diberi peluang membantah dan mempersoalkannya.  Jelaslah dalam banyak kes-kes OA di Semenanjung Malaysia, JHEOA merupakan dalang, tukang hasut, tukang pengaruh dan tukang permudahkan proses ini.
 
Tetapi entah apa jampinya sehingga saat ini JHEOA begitu kebal. Tidak ada satu orang pun dari mana ajensi kerajaan yang mempersoal atau siasat apa yang JHEOA buat! Semua kesalahan yang telah dibuat oleh JHEOA akan disalahkan kepada OA seratus peratus…

READ MORE:  Educating Orang Asli and other Malaysians

Tijah Yok Chopil ialah Setiausaha Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak

Saya adalah setiausaha bagi Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak; dan jaringan ini telah kami tubuhkan pada tahun 2003. dan pada masa itu kami kenalinya dengan nama Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semai Peringkat Batang Padang Perak. Diantara Tujuan mewujudkan jaringan kampung ini adalah untuk mendorong MOA dikampung-kampung supaya bersatupadu dan berkerjasama dalam usaha mencari penyelesaian kepada permasalahan dan pelbagai isu yang dihadapi oleh OA yang keseluruhannya adalah sama. Selain itu tujuan kami adalah untuk berganding bahu mendidik dan mendorong OA supaya kami lebih berdikari dalam hal menuntut dan melindungi hak asasi kami yang sudah lama dinafikan dan semakin dilupuskan dan yang tidak dilindungi oleh JHEOA iaitu satu badan yang begitu berbangga bahawa merekalah pelindung OA selama 51 tahun Malaysia mencapai kemerdekaan.

Pada tahun 2008 kami telah menggantikan nama pertubuhan kami kepada Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak (JKAOP). Jaringan ini pula disokong kuat oleh Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat KOMAS, Majlis Peguam Malaysia dan Pusat Bantuan Guaman dan Pusat Keprihatinan Orang Asli (COAC). Kami masyarakat Orang Asli terutamanya yang diperkampungan sangat memerlukan bantuan dari badan-badan ini kerana mereka sanggup membantu dan menyokong Orang Asli dengan ikhlas. Badan-badan ini telah mengembalikan keyakinan dan semangat kami sebagai seorang manusia seperti manusia lain.

Oleh itu sebagai seorang OA saya sangat terkilan dengan kenyataan yang telah diberikan oleh ketua pengarah dan juga penolong Pengarah JHEOA Malaysia yang telah dikeluarkan di akhbar NST beberapa minggu yang lepas. Dan seluruh Orang Asli dibawah Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak, sangat kecewa dengan kenyataan tersebut.

JHEOA: Pillar of Orang Asli Community
Unlocking the door for the Orang Asli

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Sunday/Focus/2354054/Article/pppull_index_html

2008/09/20

In the past decade, the Orang Asli community in peninsular Malaysia has enjoyed encouraging economic progress. The Department of Orang Asli Affairs says that education, much more than physical development, is the way forward for this minority group SOME 10 years ago, the natives made up half of the hardcore poor but today, this has more than halved.

They now account for one-fifth of the 47,250 poorest households.

“Although hardcore poverty still ranks high in this community, the dive from 50 to 19 per cent is an achievement,” said Mohd Sani Mistam, director-general of Orang Asli Affairs Department.

Also on the decline is the poverty rate.

READ MORE:  Logging resumes on Orang Asli customary land

There were more than 19,000 poor Orang Asli households during the Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000).

Now, there are 14,000.

Sani, 51, is confident that the department’s goal – to eradicate hardcore poverty in two years and poverty by 2020 – is on track.

Established in 1953, the department aims to develop the Orang Asli’s socio-economic standing and potentials.

This is so that they can participate actively, as equals to the general society, in the country’s economic, social and political development, without compromising on their identities and values.

There are currently more than 140,000 indigenous people from about 28,000 families in the peninsula.

The three large tribes are the Negrito, Malay Proto and Senoi. Pahang has the biggest population.

For years, projects like hardcore poor housing programmes and land development schemes have steadily improved the financial standing of the people, said Sani.

By having lands reserved for them turned into oil palm and rubber plantations, the natives have now a steady source of income in dividend payments and work wages.

Reliance on forest produce has become secondary.

“Through these projects, they have generated better income, to the extent of being in the higher income bracket.

“The old dividend rate is RM400 per family per month. But we’ve revised it to reflect current inflation rate and will be implementing it soon.”

The department has opened 167 plantations on 25,000 ha of land, an area 2.5 times the international airport.

In 2006, more than RM28 million in dividends have been paid to natives who took part.

Last year, dividends of RM30.5 million were divided amongst 10,000 participants.

The community does not have to come up with a working capital as costs are shouldered by the department.

Aside from financial well being, Orang Asli’s progress in health has also been encouraging, said Sani.

With the setting up of transit centres and the department’s hospital in Gombak which caters specially to the natives, the community’s awareness on health issues is on the rise.

A transit centre houses a patient’s family as he or she is being treated in the hospital.

Surgery and transportation costs are covered.

Monthly medical check-ups also helped in containing diseases like leprosy, malaria and tuberculosis, said Sani.

“We visit villages which are not covered by the Health Ministry. We fly in our medical team to these remote kampungs by helicopter monthly.”

READ MORE:  Kerajaan Selangor seharusnya mempertimbangkan kesemua hak tanah, sumber Orang Asli sebelum mengeluarkan tanah daripada hutan simpan kekal Kuala Langat Utara (Malay/English)

Sani, who had served the Road Transport Department and Economic Planning Unit, said the government has always been concerned with the indigenous people’s welfare.

Funds for the community is on the rise year after year.

During the Seventh Malaysia Plan, about RM150 million was spent to drive economic, infrastructural and social development.

The budget was doubled to more than RM300 million in the next Malaysia Plan.

During the Ninth Malaysia Plan, RM377 million has been set aside for organised resettlement, economic and social development.

In curbing inflation rates, an additional RM20 million was injected recently to the funds.

This extra money, said Sani, will go towards zero-hardcore poverty projects.

“Since the Seventh Malaysia Plan, developmental programmes have seen positive progress. In such a short time, a lot has been achieved by the community.”

Human progress, however, cannot be measured by monetary terms.

“There’s no point for us to carry out all the physical developments without providing them the education. The society won’t rise.

At just one percent, the low dropout rate of Orang Asli primary school students is impressive, said Sani.

It used to be 33 per cent 15 years ago.

Despite free education provided for the natives up to tertiary level, there are still a number of non-takers.

Secondary school dropouts stand at a high 36 per cent.

Students could be put off by the distance they have to travel between their secondary school and village, and the inferiority complex they face when mixing with students from other communities.

“Orang Asli also marry early. Sometimes parents prefer them to work.”.

The department has built hostels to cater to students living in remote areas in the hope to get more to continue secondary education.

There’s also a pilot project, where a school for pupils from Standard One to Form Three has been built in a village in Paloh Hinai, Pekan, Pahang.

Soon, there will be one in Gua Musang, Kelantan.

“We hope education for the people will ease our developmental efforts.

“The younger generation is increasingly receptive to a life that is more structured and planned.

“They are becoming more open to earning a stable income and having a home that’s more comfortable for their own family.”

© Copyright 2008 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

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