GUA MUSANG: MCA is thinking about setting up a committee to look into the welfare of the Orang Asli community in Kampung Kuala Koh here.
MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who visited the Bateq community there on Wednesday (July 17), said the villagers were not well looked after and needed assistance.
"They are the voiceless and underprivileged. The community was not known until the reports involving their deaths occurred," he said, adding that they would also look into getting compensation for the villagers.
"We are planning to set up a committee to continue looking after their interests," he added.
It was reported that 15 people from the Bateq tribe in the village died from pneumonia caused by a measles epidemic in the settlement.
Several parties had lodged police reports claiming that the deaths were caused by pollution in Sungai Lebir, which was later denied by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who cited a Health Ministry report during her visit to the settlement.
Dr Mah said he also called on the Health Ministry to come clean with their findings on any tests on the river near the village and to release the reports publicly.
He reiterated that the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations of Malaysia (FPMPAM) had analysed water samples taken from the river found that it contained high levels of manganese.
"Even preliminary findings by Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) indicates a possible presence of harmful substances.
"The Orang Asli there are still threatened by pollution. They may be using clean water now, but how long can they be supplied with it?" he asked.