CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Cameron Highlands DAP has accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of holding the Orang Asli community to ransom by delaying work on the road to the Orang Asli settlements of Pos Lenjang and Pos Titom here.
This follows a recent trip it made to an Orang Asli settlement here called Pos Lenjang where it found the roads were getting worse by the day due to bad weather and erosion due to logging activities.
Speaking to FMT, DAP’s candidate for Cameron Highlands in the last general election, M Manogaran, said he made the trip to Pos Lenjang with Impian Malaysia — an NGO that propagates community development.
He found that a bridge had recently given way and a temporary replacement, using logs, had been put in place.
“In January 2017, Impian Malaysia and DAP visited Pos Lenjang and wrote an article highlighting how bad the roads were.”
He said the article, entitled “Despite millions allocated, road to Orang Asli villages still a muddy mess”, was published in the party’s mouthpiece, RoketKini.
“The BN government then promised to upgrade the road earlier this year and the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) said RM15 million had been allocated to upgrade the road and it would be upgraded by July.
“Unfortunately, till today, there are no signs of upgrading. In fact, the roads are getting worse by the day.”
Cameron Highlands DAP had also visited Pos Titom in early November this year and highlighted the issue again but there had been no response.
“In our last visit to Lenjang and Titom late last month, we heard that the BN government officials and representatives had visited the villages and promised to build better roads but it will only be done after the general election,” Manogaran said.
“DAP’s question to the government is why wait till after elections? Is it a subtle threat to the Orang Asli community as the allocation was approved more than six months ago?”
Manogaran demanded that BN begin work on either building new roads or upgrading existing ones, adding that every day was torturous for the people in Pos Lenjang and Pos Titom.
“The BN government should be ashamed of the way they are treating the Orang Asli community. Stop holding up basic services as ransom for their votes.
“Do your job; carry out your responsibility and let the people live comfortably.
“I also demand that the contract be given to a worthy company and that all RM15 million of the money allocated for the roads, as claimed by Jakoa, be used to repair the roads.
“Quality roads should be built, not a thin layer that will deteriorate in two or three years.”