Sue them, Husam urges pollution-hit Orang Asli

Authorities lifted the red zone restriction imposed on Kampung Kuala Koh this morning. (Bernama pic)

TUMPAT: The Batek tribe of Orang Asli in Kampung Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, have been advised to take legal action against those that have polluted their village.

Kelantan Pakatan Harapan chairman Husam Musa said the Orang Asli should take action to safeguard their health, living environment and livelihood.

More than a dozen Orang Asli villagers in Kampung Kuala Koh have died from a contagious disease which was reported to be pneumonia and later said to be measles.

Husam said today: “I suggest that any lawyer willing to do voluntary work, assist these Orang Asli to take legal action against the parties involved as a deterrent measure.”

Legal action would help ensure that parties no longer carry out illegal (gold) mining activities as this could adversely affect the environment and source of water supply for the Orang Asli and other local residents, he told reporters after opening a farmers’ organisation annual meeting.

Husam said the illegal mining activities could have led to infections among the Orang Asli villagers, the cause of which had yet to be ascertained by health authorities.

The cause of death was believed to be measles, but post-mortem examinations had shown that only three of the Orang Asli villagers had died from the disease.

Yesterday, the president of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations, Dr Steven Chow, is reported to have said that lab tests on June 10-11 had found toxic contaminants in water samples taken from around Kampung Kuala Koh.