Recently, Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry affirmed its commitment to drive change and focus on empowering he indigenous (Orang Asli) community; a move that the ministry has admitted as being long overdue.
Minister M. Kula Segaran said that the ministry wishes to ensure the indigenous people had the same education, training, and employment opportunities as the majority of the people in Malaysia.
“In all respects, we cannot deny that the most marginalised community in our country is the Orang Asli community of 200,000. Due to the rapid development of our country, the areas they inhabit have been taken over and they have to move frequently,” he said in a statement.
The minister said that thus far, a number of initiatives have already been carried out to further this goal. For example, in November 2019, the minister had met with representatives of the Orang Asli community from around Cameron Highlands, Pahang to discuss the key aspects of the community empowerment programme.
Additionally, several skills courses were identified with the potential to improve the economic status of the Orang Asli community. As such, said skills would be offered to the community via the Department of Human Resources’ Skills Training Institute (ILJTM) which offers Malaysian Skills Certificates(SKM 1-3), diplomas, and several short courses.
“Their involvements in the programmes not only introduce them to new skills but enhance their interactive skills with other students,” he said.
Earlier in January, the minister said that 78 Orang Asli youths were brought to the Industrial Training Institute (ILP)of Ipoh, Perak. This was done in an effort to introduce them to the skills courses offered at the training centre; many of which are beneficial in helping them secure more equal job opportunities in the various industrial sectors of the Malaysian economy.
Minister Kula Segaran is also set to attend a special programme in Cameron Highlands later in March 2020 to monitor and personally supervise the development of a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme. Said programme will be coordinated by 11 Orang Asli Youths with the help of the staff of Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB).