More than RM9mil allocated for various projects in villages
AROUND RM9.7mil was allocated this year to carry out development projects involving Orang Asli communities in Johor.
State agriculture, agro-based industry, and rural committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip said from the amount, about RM9.2mil came from the Federal Government with the state government providing the rest.
“The projects involved improving infrastructure and social amenities and providing treated water.
“There is also a focus on economic empowerment of village-level administrative institutions.
“The Johor government, together with the Federal Government, is always committed to ensuring the Orang Asli community is able to compete with others.”
Zahari was replying to Tan Chong (BN-Bekok) and Hahasrin Hashim (BN-Panti) during the state assembly sitting at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar.
Tan and Hahasrin had asked about efforts to help the Orang Asli in Johor.
Zahari added that from the allocation by the state government, some RM300,000 was used for a Kampung Orang Asli (KOA) well-being pilot project carried out by KOA Puting in Segamat.
Zahari said the objective of the programme was to ensure the village’s progress was in line with that of other villages.
“This programme benefitted some 200 Orang Asli from KOA Puting by creating a more conducive environment.”
Zahari said KOA Puting could be an example for other Orang Asli villages in Johor.
He added that the state government also allocated RM152,000 to expose the Orang Asli to leadership and management knowhow.
Zahari said some 80 Orang Asli from Johor were sent on an educational visit to KOA Pos Yum and KOA Pos Kuala Mu, which are both in Perak, on Nov 17 and 19.
“KOA Pos Yum is a successful Orang Asli village that has set up their own cooperative.
“The villagers there have taken bold steps by developing eco-tourism activities in an effort to improve their economic condition.
“The state government is hopeful that the visit will be beneficial to the Orang Asli community in Johor,” he added.
Zahari also said RM384,363 was allocated to develop the Orang Asli community at Panti.
This effort included a mentorship programme that organised sharing sessions among KOA.
“It involved three KOA in Panti, namely Kempas Menang, Pasir Intan and Sayong Pinang.
“We hope that this programme will lay the foundation for creating more KOA that can be proactive in bringing in development.
“The aim is to encourage the Orang Asli to explore avenues to improve their livelihoods.”
Zahari said RM1.4mil was allocated to improve the road infrastructure and amenities at Bekok in Segamat, including providing clean water supply.
“The projects involve six KOA; Kudung, Sri Tembayan, Tamok, Lenek, Kemidak and Selai,” he said.