Why no Orang Asli as elected MP in 46 years after Merdeka?

Speech (Part 10)
in the debate on the Motion of Thanks for  the Royal Address
by Lim Kit Siang

(Dewan Rakyat, Thursday): The recent “mysterious” death of five orang asli children in Cameron Highlands has again highlighted the grave marginalization of Orang Asli from  the mainstream of national development – suffering from the most basic educational, health and socio-economic deprivations.

It is most shocking that 46 years after Merdeka with the country in the Eighth Malaysia Plan, some 80 per cent of Orang Asli live below the official poverty line.

Why is it that  46 years after Merdeka, there has not been  a single Orang Asli represented in this House for the past five decades?  Something is very wrong with the policy and approach to uplift and ensure the socio-economic and educational advancement of the the Orang Asli in the country, the real “bumiputras” of the land, when there is little substantial to show to raise the Orang Asli to the higher echelons in the various fields of national life..

There is a Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA) but there has never been an Orang Asli as head of the JHEOA.   Has the government’s efforts for nearly half a century to develop the Orang Asli community  been so unsuccessful that there is  no single Orang Asli today who is qualified to be appointed head of the JHOEA and as  State Directors of JHOEA as well?

DAP calls for   Orang Asli to be appointed to  the posts of Director-General and State Directors of Orang Asli Affairs Department by the end of the Eighth Malaysia Plan next year. 


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman