IPOH: The orang asli community here welcomed the Government’s move to extend the village micro-credit scheme to them, as it would help the younger generation.
Pos Slim village head Bah Ngah, 53, said the Government should also provide guidance and conduct business courses to ensure that the objective for providing the loan was met.
“Business is the best way to improve our economy as many of our young are not educated and find it difficult to get a job,” he said.
Bah Ngah said that of the 400 orang asli in the settlement, about 250 were between 18 and 35 years old. He said 90% still depend on forest products for their living while the others work at quarries and wood factories in Simpang Pulai.
“With the loan I will advise them to venture into oil palm projects,” he said, adding that previous projects on banana planting was unsuccessful due to the hot weather.
On the priority given to them to purchase low and medium-cost houses built by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, Bah Ngah said the offer was good but he doubted many orang asli would take up the offer.
“It is difficult to change the mentality of the orang asli, especially the old ones, to get them to leave their present settlement.
“Maybe our younger generation who are more exposed to modern living might be interested with the offer,” he said.
Bah Ngah’s eldest son Brahim, 19, said he was interested to apply for the loan to carry out an oil palm project.
“Since there is a facility to help us venture into business, why should we waste it?” said Brahim, who is unemployed.
Chu Bah Boh, 30, who runs a small sundry shop in the same village, said she would want to use the micro-credit scheme facility to expand her business.
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