KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Nor has called for better socio-economic and health care plans for the Orang Asli community in the country.
Ramli, who is an Orang Asli, noted that the second phase of the Bumiputera Economic Congress (KEB) from 2020-2065 has introduced a new cluster: the Orang Asli cluster which aimed to improve the quality of life of indigenous people in Malaysia. Under the Orang Asli cluster, KEB introduced a few resolutions and action plans.
“In this resolution, they agreed to maintain Gombak Aboriginal Hospital (Hospital Orang Asli Gombak) KM24, Gombak, Selangor, as an Orang Asli Hospital, as well as to empower quality services of HOAG to the Orang Asli community,” Ramli said while debating Budget 2021 in Parliament last Thursday.
Ramli also proposed that all expenses, including admission charges, consultation, and medication, be completely covered for patients from the Orang Asli community across all public health centres, hospitals, specialist centres, and health clinics.
“In the 2020 Budget, a total of RM319 million was allocated to build and upgrade health and dental clinics as well as quarters (asrama) facilities. The construction of a new clinic in Cameron Highlands hasn’t been completed. I urge the government to ensure the project is conducted and state what is the latest development of the project.”
Besides that, the Barisan Nasional lawmaker also mentioned that a total of RM5 million was allocated in Budget 2020 to provide mobile clinic services to residents in rural areas, especially indigenous communities, for medical treatment.
“But this initiative does not seem to be happening this year. I want to ask the relevant minister on the status of the implementation of this programme.”
The Pahang MP urged the government to improve the quality and accessibility of modern medicine to indigenous people, especially those in the interior areas.
“In the context of the Orang Asli community in Peninsular Malaysia, they are still lagging behind and have dropped out in all aspects compared to other races in this country. As the Dewan Rakyat is aware, most of the Orang Asli community in Peninsular Malaysia have been categorised under the hardcore poor category.
“Therefore, it is the responsibility of the federal government to develop the socio-economic status of indigenous people to the level that can be comparable to the other plural societies in this country.”