Husam calls for urgent action after Orang Asli deaths in Kuala Koh

The Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, fear more deaths will occur. (Picture courtesy of Peka)

KOTA BHARU: Urgent action must be taken on health threats to the Bateq tribe of the Orang Asli community in Kuala Koh, says Kelantan Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Senator Husam Musa.

Husam said investigations should be carried out if the deaths of the community members were due to the contamination of a pond they depended on as their water source.

“Immediate measures to supply clean water should be implemented and the impact of the nearby iron ore mining plant should also be investigated and addressed.

“It is an unfortunate event that the Orang Asli community, which is lagging behind in all aspects, is forced to face another hardship to the extent of losing their family members, including children to the illness.

“More important is that the surviving members of the community can be saved,” he said in a statement here today.

He also called on all the relevant agencies to look into the issue and take proactive measures to save the victims.

Earlier today, Gua Musang district police chief Taufik Maidin confirmed that two Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Koh had died on May 29 and June 7.

He denied claims that 13 Orang Asli had died from a “mystery illness”.

A Malay daily had reported that members of the Orang Asli community in Kuala Koh were living in fear after they claimed that 13 residents, including a one-year-old baby, had died due to an illness throughout the Ramadan month.