PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Betis Transit Centre for pregnant orang asli women in Gua Musang is in poor shape because it was badly affected by the floods last December.
But the good news is that a new RM468,000 transit centre is now being built and will be ready for use in three months.
The Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) said the pregnant women were now staying at the old centre.
“All the equipment there such as beds, mattresses, cupboards, blankets, toiletries and medicines were completely destroyed in the flood,” Jakoa said in a statement.
It was responding to a report in The Star that pregnant orang asli women were being ignored, living in harsh conditions and sleeping on cold floors in a dilapidated and non-conducive centre.
Jakoa said it had, with the help of residents, organised gotong-royong sessions to clean up and repair the centre.
“We have provided mats, pillows and blankets.
“Cleaning up works are done periodically and meals are provided three times a day,” it said, adding that the centre was built for orang asli seeking medical treatment and their accompanying family members.
It said it also provided welfare aid for babies, children and women, and had appointed a contractor to build the new transit centre with better facilities for the comfort of the orang asli.
“The new centre will come complete with beds, mattresses and lockers,” it said, adding that it would be completed by February.
The current centre is located in a flood-prone area.
Jakoa is also investigating claims of “serawan” disease in a report by The Star on Tuesday.
Actions taken by Jakoa so far include the Nov 24 dispatch of a team headed by its deputy director-general (development) to examine and verify claims that 200 people had died from the disease.
- MB: Orang asli death claims a serious matter [26 Nov 2015]
- Home for expectant orang asli mothers rundown, filthy and ill-equipped [25 Nov 2015]
- Jahai folk refuse treatment from health officers and run away [25 Nov 2015]
- Jakoa to check claims of 200 orang asli deaths [25 Nov 2015]
- Jahai tribe children are succumbing to a mysterious illness [23 Nov 2015]
- R.AGE video documentary, Unprotected: Orang Asli In The Royal Belum State Park