KUALA LUMPUR: For the past year, the Orang Asli community from Pos Betau near Kuala Lipis, Pahang, had been living in fear after a group of at least 20 elephants rampaged through their farms and damaged their houses.
Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Nor said he and village heads had lodged more than 10 complaints with the Wildlife and National Parks department (Perhilitan) after wild elephants encroached on a village in December 2021.
“My suggestion to them was to move the elephants out of the area, but they didn’t listen,” he said at a press conference here.
“They just came to chase away the elephants.”
Ramli said this was why he was frustrated to hear that a 39-year-old Orang Asli woman from Kg Simoi Baru in Pos Betau died early this morning after she was trampled by a wild elephant while asleep in her house.
Ramli added that apart from the woman’s death, the villagers’ livelihood had also been affected after elephants destroyed their crops – their main source of food and income.
He said the village heads were extremely frustrated after this morning’s incident. Ramli urged the authorities to take action as he didn’t want the Orang Asli community in the area to take matters into their own hands.
Pos Betau has several villages comprising more than 2,000 people.
Ramli said there had been cases where villagers were forced to spend the night at their relatives’ homes located in other areas as they feared the elephants might enter their village.
He added that he would raise the issue in the upcoming Parliament session.
FMT has reached out to Perhilitan director-general Kadir Abu Hashim for comment.