80 Orang Asli in Rompin district are stateless

MUADZAM SHAH: Some 80 Orang Asli living in the Rompin district are stateless as they were born without birth certificates.

State Islamic Dakwah, Unity and Non-Governmental Organisations Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sahfri Abdul Aziz said aboriginal people have no access to the National Registration Department to register childbirths or apply for an identity card.

Mohd Sahfri, who is also Bukit Ibam assemblyman said the Orang Asli did not place importance on having an identity card.

“I urge the National Registration Department officers to reach out by visiting the Orang Asli villages and hold programmes for them to gather and register their families,” he said.

Remote villages including Kampung Kemomo, Kampung Ganoh, Kampung Langkap Dalang, Kampung Ganai and Kampung Mentelong are located in the Bukit Ibam constituency.

Mohd Sahfri said it would be difficult for the NRD officers to identify the villagers as there are no record of their children’s birth.

“The only way to trace on their date of birth or places could be known through their children’s midwife.

“However, identifying the midwives is another problem. Even the adults are hard to identify as they do not have birth certificates,” said Mohd Sahfri.

He said clues on their origins and identities can be traced through village elders or Tok Batin however, some of the villagers may have lived a nomadic life and moved from one place to another without informing their chieftains.

Mohd Sahfri said the identity issue would crop up later when the Orang Asli send their children to schools and apply for Government aid and deal with formal matters.

He hoped the NRD would provide an amicable solution so the Orang Asli community would not be left out as the state progresses.

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