Why Najib did not visit Pos Lenjang in his highly-publicised by-election campaign trail? Is it because Malaysia will know how bad is the 33 km “roti canai” road in Pos Lenjang – the worst road I have travelled in past three weeks?
The former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak made a highly-publicized Cameron Highlands by-election campaign trail but he did not visit Orang Asli kampongs in Pos Lenjang.
Why? Is it because Malaysia will know how bad is the 30 km “roti canai” road in Pos Lenjang, the worst road I have travelled in the past three weeks in Cameron Highlands and a shame and outrage to the claim that Malaysia is a developed nation?
The other atrocious roads that I had travelled are the ones when I visited Kampong Lemoi and Kampong Janggap, both of which were omitted in Najib’s itinerary in his recent by-election campaign trail.
This is my second visit to Pos Lenjang, the first on New Year’s Eve when I was forced to spend the night at Orang Asli Kampong Simoi Lama when I was trapped and cut off from the world, as heavy rain had turned the “roti canai’ road into a river of mud.
But during my last visit, I have not come so far into Pos Lenjang, stopping at Kampong Kenderung in Pos Lenjang and Kampong Cerewes at Pos Titom.
I will go in further to Kampong Lenjang later tonight before spending the night in Pos Lenjang and visit the other Orang Asli kampongs in Pos Titom tomorrow morning.
Because of the “roti canai” road condition, the journey into Pos Lenjang is a journey of agony and shame, reminding all travellers that we have gone back in time, not just decades but centuries, although we are in the twenty-first century.
How can any government of dignity, self-respect and minimum competence fail in sixty years to bring Orang Asli community to the national mainstream of development, and leave them after sixty years in such deplorable and disgraceful plight where they remain poor, backward and neglected, denied the most basic of infrastructures like proper access road, clean water, electricity and deprived of the most elementary provisions of basic education, health and medical care, housing, economic opportunities – and most important of all, robbed of their traditional land rights.
The Department for Orang Asli Development )JAKOA) has clearly failed in its mission to uplift the position of the Orang Asli when in sixty years, if could only appoint an Orang Asli as Director-General of JAKOA in the past eight months and Orang Asli do not even represent 22 per cent of the JAKOA staffing.
I congratulate Ramli Mohd Nor, the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Cameron Highlands by-election for reaching the top level of State Commercial Crimes Director, but Ramli’s case actually symbolised the failure and not the success of Orang Asli upliftment after six decades.
Surely after six decades of economic and educational upliftment of Orang Asli to be at par with Malaysians of other ethnic backgrounds, Orang Ali should have reached higher positions not only in the police but in all departments of government. When will an Orang Asli be among one of Top Eight in the Royal Malaysian Police?
Or are we only going to produce one Orang Asli as State Commercial Crime Director in sixty years, as at this rate, we will produce the second Orang Asli State Commerial Crime Director in the next sixty years – or two Ramlis in one hundred and twenty years?
This is clearly unsatisfactory and unacceptable and the time has come for a New Deal for Orang Asli in Malaysia.