UA MUSANG, The Orang Asli community will enjoy various facilities next year after RM333 million was allocated to the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) under Budget 2024 tabled on Friday (Oct 13).
Its director-general, Datuk Sapiah Mohd Nor said the allocation will be used for the implementation and provision of infrastructure, including social amenities, social assistance programmes, improvement of living standards and development in Orang Asli villages.
"However, we cannot provide a detailed breakdown of the allocation as it was only announced two days ago.
"On the whole, JAKOA received a high allocation, more than this year, and we will look at the infrastructure aspect, the development of social amenities such as the upgrading of the hall, rural connecting roads and economic assistance," she told reporters in Bandar Utama, here.
She added that assistance from the aspect of agriculture and water supply is also within the scope of JAKOA.
Meanwhile, Kelantan Orang Asli chief Bidi Ronggeng believes that Budget 2024 would bring changes to the community in this district.
Bidi said most of the Orang Asli community in the state's interior is still struggling with issues of basic facilities including roads, clean water, electricity supply and telecommunication lines, which are seen to be lagging behind similar ethnic groups in other states.
"I hope the government will focus on the Orang Asli in the interior of this district who have not yet enjoyed such facilities. We are in 2023, but the gap in facilities is very wide compared to urban residents.
"At the moment we are waiting for the integrated road upgrades involving Pos Gob, Pos Bihai, Pos Balar, Pos Belatim, Pos Hau and Pos Simpor to be completed, especially during the monsoon season when we have to navigate damaged logging roads," he said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when tabling Budget 2024, announced that the Orang Asli community would be allocated RM333 million compared to RM305 million this year, including the implementation of socio-economic development projects, infrastructure in Orang Asli villages and the provision of social assistance.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency