Pahang biker teacher rides into hearts of social media users

Source: New Strait Times

eacher Ahmad Saidin Mohd Idris has literally become an overnight internet sensation after an article about him riding his motorcycle 135km daily to teach at SK Lenjang, Lipis, was published online yesterday. Pix by Nazirul Roselan for the Star.

KUANTAN: Teacher Ahmad Saidin Mohd Idris has literally become an overnight internet sensation after an article about him riding his motorcycle 135km daily to teach at SK Lenjang, Lipis, was published online yesterday.

Netizens from all walks of life were abuzz on social media, posting heart-warming messages – with many calling Ahmad Saidin a hero for overcoming great adversity to fulfill his responsibilities to teach his 400-odd Orang Asli pupils at the school.

Some were even prepared to go the extra mile and organise a fundraising campaign to assist the 40-year-old to travel using a much safer mode of transport and reduce his burden of paying for patrol.

However, the down-to-earth father-of-two said he would prefer that his well-wishers assist the Orang Asli pupils by providing aid to help them, rather than using it for him.

“I enjoy teaching here and am happy with what I am doing. Instead, it would be good if people can assist the Orang Asli children and I am sure they would be grateful. Read more

FMT report on Orang Asli kids: Suhakam to probe

Source: FMT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has initiated an investigation into a news portal report titled “Education of Orang Asli Kids Being Neglected” to verify the facts of the case.

The news article published yesterday by Free Malaysia Today contained an allegation of abuse by a teacher against an Orang Asli student who was forced to eat glass as punishment for unintentionally breaking a school window pane.

In a statement today, Suhakam said the allegation was raised at a workshop organised by Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) in Pos Piah, Perak, on Aug 28, during which a representative of the commission was present.

“The finding of the commission’s investigation will be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities so that appropriate action would be taken against any person who is found guilty,” it said.

Education of Orang Asli kids being neglected

Source: FMT News

Orang Asli activist Colin Nicholas recalls horrific punishment for Orang Asli children by schools and teachers. Pic taken from FMT News.

Orang Asli activist Colin Nicholas recalls horrific punishment for Orang Asli children by schools and teachers. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Education for Orang Asli children is being neglected with unmotivated teachers being sent to teach them, Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) Coordinator Colin Nicholas said.

On top of this, he told FMT that teachers stationed in rural areas were often under pressure to “show good results”.

“We have come across many cases where schools are under immense pressure to maintain the UPSR pass rate.

“They will do anything to get the weaker students out so that these children won’t sit for exams and bring down the overall results.”

Yesterday, FMT reported that teachers in a rural town in Kelantan were allegedly falsifying medical reports of Orang Asli children from a school, labelling them as intellectually disabled, to avoid being penalised for falling grades in the school.

Colin recalled his experiences with COAC, revealing there are many instances far worse than falsified medical reports.

For one, he noted the vast physical abuse Orang Asli students underwent which went unreported or unaddressed.

“Some of the punishments are terrible. It is something you will not find in normal schools.” Read more

An education in captivity – Edith Mirante

Boarding school for Jahai Orang Asli children, mainland Malaysia. Photo: Edith Mirante

Edith Mirante reports on a Malaysian boarding school escape with tragic consequence. 

A group of children from an indigenous minority group escape an abusive boarding school to make their way home to their families, hiding from search parties along the way. The latest example of this all-too-familiar narrative has a more heartbreaking ending than the 1931 journey by a trio of Australian Aboriginal girls portrayed in the movie Rabbit Proof Fence.

Six girls and one boy, aged seven to 11, from the Temiar indigenous ethnic group, went on the run from a government boarding school in Gua Musang, Malaysia on 23 August 2015. The children evaded searchers until 9 October when Norieen Yaacob, 10 and Mirsudiar Aluj, 11 were located alive. Although emaciated and weak, the girls still tried to walk away from the police who found them on a riverbank.

As the Center for Orang Asli Concerns, an indigenous peoples advocacy group in Malaysia described it, the children had been “not missing, but hiding.” The other five had died from drowning or starvation.

Taking children away from their parents to be indoctrinated in schools that deny them their culture, language and spiritual beliefs is considered a crime against humanity and a practice of decades past. Governments in Australia, Canada and the United States have apologised for it (although not properly compensated victims). Read more

76 stay away from SK Pos Tohoi after deaths

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Orang Asli Network of Kelantan deputy chairman Nasir Dollah is pictured at the press conference. On his left are Midah and Ayel. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

Orang Asli Network of Kelantan deputy chairman Nasir Dollah is pictured at the press conference. On his left are Midah and Ayel. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

PETALING JAYA, Jan 28 — Seventy-six pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Pos Tohoi have not returned to school after five of their schoolmates died tragically last August.

Their parents claim they were still traumatised by the incident and the authorities had not done enough to improve conditions in the school.

Ayel Ajib, 48, the father of Ika, who died in the incident, said his three other children refused to return to school.

“They are so afraid after what happened to their elder sister,” he said.

Ayel admitted that he, too, felt frightened to send his children back to the school.

“I do not want my other children to suffer the same fate. They are still young and have a long life ahead of them,” he told a press conference here after he and 16 other villagers from Pos Tohoi submitted a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.  Read more

Orang Asli demand educational reforms for their children

Source: The Rakyat Post

The Orang Asli Development Department will continue to persuade parents to send their kids to SK Tohoi despite the fatal runaway incident last year. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 10, 2016.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27, 2016: Representatives from the Orang Asli community in Kelantan today delivered a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) demanding that the government initiate reforms for Orang Asli children in the educational system.

The demands were made as the community felt that no action had been taken by the government following the recent tragedy where seven Orang Asli children from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Pos Tohoi, Gua Musang went missing.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) deputy chairman Nasir Dollah said the government must take into account the proper nurturing as well as the wellbeing of Orang Asli children.

He said the Orang Asli community, like any other community in Malaysia, valued the significance of knowledge and learning and were willing to go to great lengths to ensure that their children received proper education. Read more

Kehadiran murid Orang Asli SK Tohoi tunjuk perkembangan positif

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Perkembangan positif kehadiran pelajar SK Tohoi menunjukkan masyarakat Orang Asli secara beransur-ansur makin pulih daripada trauma insiden kehilangan murid Orang Asli Ogos lalu. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 15 Januari, 2016.

Kehadiran lebih ramai murid Orang Asli ke Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tohoi menunjukkan perkembangan positif dengan purata kehadiran sekitar 115 orang sehari berbanding 101 pada minggu pertama persekolahan.

Pegawai Pendidikan Daerah Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah (PPD) Gua Musang Muhammad Zahari Othman berkata peningkatan itu disebabkan pelbagai faktor termasuk kesedaran ibu bapa dan murid, selain keadaan cuaca dan usaha berterusan Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA) serta Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri (JPN).

“Setakat ini peratus kehadiran pelajar adalah antara 55 hingga 58% setiap hari dan ia adalah keadaan biasa seperti tahun-tahun sebelum ini,” katanya ketika dihubungi di Kota Baru, hari ini. Read more

Orang Asli authorities continue to coax parents into sending kids to SK Tohoi

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Orang Asli Development Department will continue to persuade parents to send their kids to SK Tohoi despite the fatal runaway incident last year. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 10, 2016.

The Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) will continue to persuade the Pos Tohoi Orang Asli community to send their children back to school.

Jakoa director-general Datuk Hasnan Hassan said a total of 74 students had yet to report for school even though it had been a week since the new school session began.

“However, we are thankful the number has increased to 115 students compared to 99 when the session started.

“SK Tohoi has 189 students and most of them live in the villages of Penad, Gawin, Simpor, Sedal, Dangdut, Halak, Rekom and Jader and the distance to school is a problem for them.” Read more

2 murid Orang Asli mahu keluar dari SK Tohoi

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Dua murid Orang Asli iaitu Norieen Yaakob, 10, dan Miksudiar Aluj, 11, tidak lagi berminat meneruskan persekolahan di SK Tohoi kerana masih trauma dengan kejadian menimpa mereka. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 28 Disember, 2015.

Dua murid Orang Asli Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tohoi yang ditemui selamat dalam kejadian 7 murid hilang Ogos lepas, menyuarakan hasrat mahu berpindah ke SK Kuala Betis, di Gua Musang.

Norieen Yaakob, 10, dan Miksudiar Aluj, 11, tidak lagi berminat meneruskan persekolahan di SK Tohoi kerana masih trauma dengan kejadian menimpa mereka.

Ibu Norieen, Midah Angah, 40, berkata anaknya sudah menyatakan hasrat untuk kembali ke sekolah, tetapi tidak mahu ke SK Tohoi.

“Saya harap akan ada perbincangan dengan Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah Gua Musang dan Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli untuk menyelesaikan perkara ini.

“Saya tahu SK Tohoi banyak melakukan penambahbaikan, tetapi anak saya tidak mahu bersekolah di situ lagi dan mahu dihantar ke SK Kuala Betis kerana ada kemudahan asrama,” katanya ketika ditemui pemberita di rumahnya di Kampung Penad hari ini. Read more

The runaway children Malaysia failed to save

Source: BBC News

Pic by Malaysian Insider / Najjua Zulkefli, taken from BBC News website

Earlier this year seven children from an indigenous Malaysian tribe ran away from school and got lost in the jungle. Seven weeks later, only two survivors were found. The shocking case raises uncomfortable questions about Malaysia’s treatment of this minority.

A group of children are lying on the floor of a bamboo hut drawing with crayons and felt tips. It is mid-morning and they should be in lessons but the pupils from the villages in this area don’t go to school any more.

At first the nine and 10-year-olds are shy but then they start telling me about one of the teachers in the residential school they used to go to.

“He punished us even if we did nothing wrong,” says one of them. “He made us stand outside in the sun for ages with our desks on our heads and our knees bent, like this.”

As she demonstrates the posture, the others burst into peals of laughter. But one girl in a striped T-shirt is silent and focuses on her picture.

She is 10-year-old Norieen Yaakob. Last summer she and six classmates could no longer bear the harsh discipline at the school, so they fled into the rainforest.

These children are Orang Asli which in Malay means “original people” and they’re the earliest known inhabitants of the Malaysian peninsula. Read more