KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Temiar Orang Asli women from Perak are asking the Health Ministry to stop giving them birth control shots and pills, amid allegations of coercive family planning.
According to The Malaysian Insight, community leader Anjang Aleuj said the Orang Asli women had said so in a meeting with the Perak chapter of the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) last week.
“During the meeting, our Temiar women told Jakoa that they do not want birth control pills and injections,” Anjang was quoted saying.
A meeting is yet to be scheduled between the tribeswomen and the health department to bring up this issue, said Anjang, a representative of the Kg Sg Papan Orang Asli villages.
The Health Ministry recently launched an internal inquiry amid pressure from doctors to investigate indigenous women’s complaints against health officials forcing them to take birth control and getting injections since five years ago.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) urged the Health Ministry to divulge the results of its internal investigation openly and transparently.
The Health Ministry’s internal inquiry, which is chaired by family health medical expert Dr Ayub Bah Los from Klinik Kesihatan Kampar, will probe allegations by Orang Asli women in Hulu Perak, Perak, that they were coerced into joining the ministry’s family planning programme.