KOTA BAHARU – The rural and regional development ministry will work closely with the education ministry to study security aspects in hostels and schools attended by orang asli students.
Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub said a new mechanism should also be conducted in studying the sensitivities of the orang asli community.
“We will discuss this matter with the education ministry…perhaps a new approach in taking care of the sensitivities of the orang asli needs to be looked into,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating a pinning of ranks ceremony for the Civil Defence Department (JPAM) allied officers and launching the Kelantan state-level Civil Defence Emergency Response Team-Community (CDERT-C) at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Kubang Kerian here today.
Ahmad Jazlan was asked to comment on the search and rescue operation for the seven orang asli students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Tohoi in Gua Musang, Kelantan, who went missing since Aug 23.
In that incident, six girls and a boy aged between seven and 11, were reported to have run away from the school hostel for fear of punishment after they were found swimming in a river without permission.
Ahmad Jazlan said tolerance in some aspects needed to be considered in the context of providing education for orang asli children.
“This is because they are still firmly attached to the cultures, customs and daily activities,” he said, adding that a better understanding could be reached by studying the cultures and lifestyles of the minority.
During the ceremony, Ahmad Jazlan presented certificates to representatives of 104 villages in Kelantan, which established CDERT-C teams.
CDERT-C will be the beginning of the JPAM’s era of transformation in the government’s mission to face disasters.
The deputy minister also suggested the establishment of a JPAM training centre in Kelantan, in view of the flood which struck the state every year.