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Friday November 2, 2012

Govt to improve orang asli Seletar’s living conditions

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Government wants to improve the living conditions of about 700 orang asli Seletar from Kampung Sungai Temon near Perling here following the increase in the number of residents there.

State Rural Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Asiah Md Ariff said the state authorities would improve roads and electrical supply in the village, while about 80 houses would be upgraded.

“The community, who are also called the sea people, prefer to remain at the settlement. As such, we will help with improving the facilities rather than asking them to relocate,” he said after launching an orang asli carnival here yesterday.

Asiah said that the state government would also turn the village into an eco-tourism site.

“It will be a hit with tourists as Sungai Temon village is strategically located between Johor Baru and other development areas under Nusajaya, which are just a stone's throw away via the new coastal highway,” she added.

Village head Salim Palon welcomed the move.

“We do not want to be relocated to a new place. The announcement is good news for us as the village is growing in size so it is about time we had better facilities,” he added.

The orang asli Seletar have been living within the coastline and the waters off Johor and Singapore for centuries. They lived on boats before they moved inland.

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