KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 – The bodies of another four Orang Asli from Gua Musang believed to have died from a lung infection were found today, bringing the total to eight.
Bernama reported that the operation to recover all 12 bodies from the Bateq tribe in Kuala Koh would continue in the interiors.
“Nadma (National Disaster Management Agency), PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police), the Forensics Unit and others have entered the forest area to identify the points where the bodies were buried.
“The place is quite difficult to enter and boats are required in the more remote areas,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy was quoted telling reporters in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
Kelantan police chief Hasanuddin Hassan reportedly confirmed that four bodies were discovered yesterday – identified as Din Hamdan, 18, Safia Papan, 18, Fayah Papan, 19, and Jais Keladi, 55.
The Malaysian Insight reported that five Orang Asli were still warded in the intensive care unit, while 103 out of 185 Kuala Koh villagers have received treatment at hospitals in Gua Musang to date.
Fourteen Orang Asli from the nomadic Bateq tribe died over the past few weeks, reportedly since May 25, from a respiratory infection. Autopsies were conducted on two of them, who were confirmed to have died from pneumonia.
The cause of the infection, however, has yet to be identified, with Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad tentatively concluding last Tuesday that the duo likely died from a viral respiratory infection.