KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Isa Ab Hamid today took his oath as a member of the Orang Asli community in the Senate for a second term from 2019 to 2021, before Senate president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran in Parliament.
When met by reporters after the ceremony, Isa said he was determined to continue the struggle for Orang Asli rights and bring the community in the country to the mainstream, especially in terms education and land ownership as well as the proposed amendments to the Orang Asli Act 1954 (Act 134).
“The act has not been amended ... if there were amendments, they were only minor parts and there are sections of the act which are too general ... maybe before that, the act only discussed the issues of Orang Asli welfare.
“But now the Orang Asli community is experiencing great challenges and various threats such as social ills, political change, land intrusion and the education rights of Orang Asli at certain schools ... so we want to amend (and the need to be dynamic according to time) to seek a clearer approach and direction (on the development of Orang Asli),” he said.
Isa also called for the cooperation of the community regardless of their political ideologies and to jointly shoulder the development of the community which is seen as unbalanced according to the tribes.
“Do not make religion or political leanings as borders ... we need to jointly shoulder the responsibility and cannot place all responsibilities on the government ... so I am calling on the educated Orang Asli youths and village leadership to contribute towards combating the issue.
“We do not want the change given to other people but want Orang Asli themselves to play the role so that development is more according to the wishes of their grassroots,” he said. — Bernama