KOTA BARU: The Kelantan Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs Council (MAIK) has confirmed that all 15 orang asli Batek people in Kuala Koh who died since early May were Muslims.
MAIK chief religious officer Murtadha Abdullah said from investigations and discussions with the National Disaster Council in Gua Musang, the bodies of the dead orang asli were in the final stages of post-mortem and they were all Muslims.
“We have obtained the consent of the people there (Kuala Koh) and they have agreed that all the dead would be buried according to Muslim rites at the Orang Asli Muslim Cemetery in Kuala Koh,“ he said.
Murtadha was speaking to reporters at the MAIK Aidilfitri Gathering 2019 here today at the Datul Naim Islamic Complex, Lundang. Also present was MAIK deputy president Dr Nik Mohd Azlan Abd Hadi.
Murtadha said the final rites and burial process will be handled by the Imam of the Gua Musang Mosque, assisted by the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) and other agencies including the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda).
“The burial will be carried out as soon as possible, but we are still bound to the post-mortem process by the hospital,“ he said.
He said MAIK also planned to bury all the dead in one grave.
Previously, most of the orang asli victims who were believed to have died of disease were buried according to their tribal customs, including placing them in trees.
Meanwhile, Nik Azlan said the funeral costs of the orang asli would be fully borne by MAIK. — Bernama