Nearly 4,000 Malaysian children went missing in 2014 and 2015

Source: The Star Online

dewan_rakyat_signpost_2015_-_parliament_reportKUALA LUMPUR: A total of 3,937 children, aged between 6 to 18 years old, have been reported missing between 2014 until Jan this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Masir Kujat said the police have prioritised the cases of missing children as they could be linked to human trafficking.

“Based on police statistics, a total of 2015 children was reported missing in 2014, 1,782 cases reported in 2015 and 140 cases was reported as of Jan this year,” he told Ahmad Lai Bujai (BN-Sibuti) during Question Time. Read more

Counselling for Orang Asli community in Pos Tohoi tragedy, says deputy minister

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Children from the Temiar tribe outside their home in Kampung Penad, Kelantan. Education is important but the Orang Asli parents in this remote village have decided to withdraw their children from SK Tohoi. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 27, 2015.

The Education Ministry will hold counseling sessions for the Orang Asli following the Pos Tohoi tragedy where four children at a boarding school died after allegedly fleeing their school to hide in the jungle.

Deputy education minister P. Kamalanthan said the ministry will do all it can to ensure that parents from the indigenous community would send their children back to school.

“Education is for all and the ministry does not want to see anyone left out,” he told reporters at a press conference after a cheque presentation ceremony to 44 Tamil schools in Negri Sembilan.

Seven Orang Asli pupils at SK Tohoi in Gua Musang, Kelantan, went missing on August 23, reportedly because they feared punishment by their teachers.

Four are dead while two, Miksudiar Alui, 11, and Norieen Yaakob, 10, were found safe after weeks in the jungle.

The dead pupils – Ika Ayel, 9, Haikal Yaacob, 8, Linda Rosli, 8 and Juvina David, 7 – were buried last Sunday.

Traumatised parents from Orang Asli villages in the area then said they would pull out all their children from the boarding school situated some two hours away from their homes. Read more

Spooked Orang Asli parents shun Pos Tohoi school after 4 kids die

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Children from the Temiar tribe outside their home in Kampung Penad, Kelantan. Education is important but the Orang Asli parents in this remote village have decided to withdraw their children from SK Tohoi. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 27, 2015.

The Orang Asli from villages in the interiors of Gua Musang, Kelantan, have decided to stop sending their children back to the SK Tohoi boarding school, from where seven pupils had run away and got lost in the jungle for more than a month.

They are adamant their 60-odd children stay away from the school situated some two hours through logging tracks from their villages.

The Orang Asli folk are blaming the boarding school for recklessness and refusal to take responsibility for the incident, which left four of the victims dead.

Kelantan Orang Asli Village Network youth chief Dendi Johari said the Orang Asli, who are from the Temiar tribe, have refused to send their children to the school for fear of what had happened to the seven children. Read more

Orang asli kids laid to rest in a single grave

Source: The Star Online

Final journey: Relatives carrying a coffin at the funerals of Ika, Linda, Juvina and Haikal. Pic from The Star Online.

Final journey: Relatives carrying a coffin at the funerals of Ika, Linda, Juvina and Haikal. Pic from The Star Online.

GUA MUSANG: Almost three weeks after having to endure news that their lost children had been found dead, it was heart-shattering again for their parents as they finally laid the four to rest.

With the pain still fresh, the scene was emotional as the skeletal remains of Juvina David, seven, Haikal Yaakob, eight, Ika Ayel, nine, and Linda Rosli, eight, were laid to rest following customary Temiar tribe funeral rites yesterday.

A total of 20 4WD vehicles accompanied the four orang asli children, who died in the Balah forest reserve last month, on their final journey from here to their village in Kampung Penad along the logging track – a trip which took three hours.

The remains of the children were placed in separate, simple wooden coffins covered with white cloth and a smattering of flowers.

It was not a smooth ride for the accompanying family members. Read more

Orang Asli families need financial aid to bury their children, says activist

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Two members of the Orang Asli community being interviewed by activist Siti Zabedah Kasim, ahead of funeral rites to bury four children who were found dead in the jungles of Kelantan this month. – YouTube pic via Siti Kasim Facebook, October 19, 2015.

An activist has appealed the public to help with funeral expenses for the four Orang Asli children who were found dead after they went missing in the jungles of Kelantan.

Lawyer Siti Zabedah Kasim, who is a member of the Malaysian Bar’s Human Rights and Orang Asli Rights committees, announced the request in a Facebook posting this morning, and furnished her bank account details.

“After discussing with the villagers in Kampung Penad and Kampung Gawin yesterday, the funds required is estimated around RM10,000.

“This is to cover the expenses of putting up tents, tarpaulin and food for seven days of the Temiyar funeral rites in both villages,” Siti Kasim told The Malaysian Insider. Read more

Malaysia: Outrage after 5 indigenous children die

Source: Al Jazeera

An Orang Asli child carries her brother on her back in a village 400km north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [Teh Eng Koon/AP]

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – An urgent debate in parliament is being demanded to find out why seven indigenous Orang Asli children went missing for weeks in the jungles of northern Malaysia – with five later found dead a kilometre away from their residential school.

The children – aged between seven and 11-years old – disappeared at the end of August after fleeing their boarding school. The six girls and one boy were reportedly afraid of being punished after older siblings had been beaten by a teacher for swimming in a nearby river.

Despite extensive search-and-rescue operations, the children remained unaccounted for until early October, 47 days later, when the decomposed body of one was found just 500 metres from their living quarters. Two surviving children were discovered a few days later, emaciated and close to death. The remaining children also died. Read more

No escape for anyone found guilty or mistreatment of Orang Asli children

Source: NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry will not hesitate to take action against any of its ministry staff or teachers if found guilty of wrongdoings in the disappearance of the seven Orang Asli students.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said his ministry was still awaiting the full report from the police on the matter.

“The police are still conducting their investigations into this.

“If at all, that the teachers or ministry staff had done wrong, we will not hesitate to take action.” Read more

Families of missing Orang Asli children say authorities kept them in the dark [UPDATED]

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Families of four of the children wait for news at the Goa Hotel in Gua Musang. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

GUA MUSANG, Oct 12 — The families of the missing pupils have not only been emotionally drained by the tragedy but left feeling neglected.

“Welfare is one thing but the fact that we were not informed of the latest updates has angered us,” Nora Tegeu, 39, mother of Ika Ayel, whose body was found by search and rescue (SAR) personnel on Friday, said.

“It is our children who have gone missing and we deserve to be informed first and not those not directly concerned.”

Latip Aban, 45, grandfather of Sasa Sobrie, eight, said they did not receive a formal briefing by authorities on rescue activities.

“Most of the times we asked other villagers to find out if there were any leads,” he said.

He said that when the families arrived from Kampung Simpul, Kampung Gawen and Kampung Penad — 50km and four hours away from Pos Tohoi — after receiving news of the children, they were not even provided with a place to stay.  Read more

Found Orang Asli girl claims only she and another the only ones alive [UPDATED]

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Ten-year-old Norieen Yaakob, who was found alive together with another girl out of seven Orang Asli children after disappearing for 47 days, claimed that the rest were dead.

Norieen and Mirsudiar Aluj, 11, were found alive in the jungles of Gua Musang, Kelantan, yesterday in a malnourished state, while the bodies of Sasa Sobrie, 8, and Ika Ayel, 9, have been discovered, along with the skeletal remains of a child that has yet to be identified.

“They are all dead. We are all that’s left,” Norieen was quoted saying. Read more

Two orang asli children found alive

Source: The Star Online

Norieen Yakob, one of the two missing Orang Asli girls found alive today. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 9, 2015.

GUA MUSANG: In a miraculous twist, search parties scouring the long and windy Sungai Perias have found two missing orang asli children alive near here on Friday.

Authorities have yet to confirm the find, but the command center here at SK Tohoi is a buzz of activity as search parties zero in a one square km area situated in the Balah forest reserve.

It was learnt that the survivors have been identified as Norieen Yakob, 10 and Mirsudial Aluj, 11 and are on the way by road from SK Tohoi to Gua Musang general hospital.

Reporters on site reported that both survivors were malnourished and very weak. Read more