Najib should travel the worst “roti canai” roads and non-roads to the remote Orang Asli villages in Cameron Highlands to see for himself how as sixth Prime Minister, he had failed the Orang Aslis in Camerons and Malaysia to provide the most basic of infrastructures

I just came from Kampong Orang Asli Janggap in Pos Sinderut and I find the road access to it among the worst I have travelled to Orang Asli kampongs in Cameron Highlands in the past fortnight.

I understand that former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be arriving in Cameron Highlands to help the Barisan Nasional’s Cameron Highlands by-election campaign.

As he will be here for four days from Thursday to Sunday, I hope he will travel the worst “roti canai” roads and non-roads to the remote Orang Asli kampongs to see for himself how as the sixth Prime Minister, he has failed the Orang Aslis in Camerons Highland and the country to provide the most basic of infrastructures.

Among the worst roads and non-roads to Orang Asli kampongs that I had visited are trips to Kampong Janggap, Kampong Lemoi, Kampong Barehnyis and interior Orang Asli kampongs in Pos Terisu.

Quite unforgettable during my four visits to Orang Asli kampongs in Cameron Highlands was the New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31 when I was trapped at Kampong Orang Asli Simoi Lama together with MP for Bentong Wong Tack, State Assemblyman for Tanah Rata Chiong Yoke Kong, DAP/Pakatan Harapan Candidate for Cameron Highlands M. Manogaram, where we were cut off from all access to the outside world and crossing the river at Kampong Semoi Lama by driving through it despite its strong currents to reach Orang Asli kampongs in Pos Lenyang and Pos Titom.

I was told that if my vehicle was swept away by the strong current, I would end up in Lipis!

The atrocious and terrible conditions of the Orang Asli in the remote areas have to be seen to be believed, and I would urge Najib to see for himself in the next four days how he had forgotten the Orang Aslis in the remote areas during his eight years as Prime Minister, and he should visit these remote Orang Asli kampongs, not flying in by helicopter but by the usual means of access which had to be used by Orang Alis in ordinary life.

In Kampong Janggap, I saw several water tanks but without clean water supply; no electricity; and the villagers, particularly children, are exposed to diseases.

Can Najib explain why despite his premiership and sixty years after Merdeka, Orang Asli are still deprived of the most basic of infrastructure services like clean water supply, electricity; proper roads; basic education and medical needs; and most important of all, resolution of the long-standing land rights battle of the Orang Aslis?

Although Pakatan Harapan has formed the Federal Government in Putrajaya after the 14th General Election, there is nothing it can do with regard to the land rights of the Orang Asli, as land is a state matter and the Federal Government has no jurisdiction over it whatsoever.

Pakatan Harapan, however, wants to be able deal with the land rights of the Orang Asli, but this will have to wait until the 15th General Election when Pakatan Harapan captures the Pahang State Assembly, form Pahang State Government and appoint the Pahang Mentri Besar.

The Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election on January 26, however, will be an important indicator whether Pakatan Harapan can win the Pahang State Government in the 15th General Elecltion so that we can resolve the long-standing injustice of the Orang Asli over their traditional land rights.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri