Friday, July 10, 2015

Orang Asli belittled


Distraught Orang Asli parents barred 

from school meeting

 July 10, 2015
School authorities refuse to meet with parents who came to get assurances from them
that their kids’ safety could be guaranteed.
KUALA BETIS: Orang Asli parents wishing to hold a meeting with school
authorities of Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Betis were left in the lurch when
they were not allowed to participate in it, a statement from Jaringan Kampung
Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) said. 
In the 10am meeting yesterday, only the family of the victim, 10-year-old Siti
Nur Azdilia, the village headman,Village Security and Development Committees
(JKKK) and the Action Committee were allowed in.
This came as a shock to the parents as it was they who had called for the meeting
in an attempt to get assurances from the school that their children would not also
be abused.
The group, made up of 40 parents and representatives from 14 villages had their
own meeting in Kampung Parik, to strategise on follow-up action.
They were even more distraught over the abuse incident after an official statement
issued by the school as well as the Ministry of Education, denied that the abuse had
 taken place despite “concrete evidence” to prove that it did.
On 15 June, Siti was accused by one of her teachers, Cikgu Ali, of stealing his money.
Accompanied by two other teachers, the three are alleged to have tied her up then
proceeded to kick, slap and beat her. They were also alleged to have tied a string
around her neck and pulled her around like a dog while detaining her in the teacher’s
staff room until the school session was over, after which she was sent to a bus station
to find her way home. The incident allegedly took place in front of other teachers in
the school.
At the meeting, head of the Adat Jaringan Orang Asli Kelantan, Adek a/l Along said,
“I am displeased with the stance the school and the State Education Department (JPN)
has taken in disallowing the parents to be heard and get assurance from school
 authorities that our children’s safety be safeguarded.
“Should there be any death of an Orang Asli child, it will fall on the school if they
cannot guarantee our children’s safety.”
Andak Caling, the victim’s grandmother said she was “aggrieved” that only she and
a few others were admitted into the school when 60% of the students at the school
are Orang Asli and therefore had the right to be assured they would not be abused
by the teachers like Siti was.
“This is unjust,” she said.
A representative of the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) Nasir Dollah said
the school’s refusal to hold a meeting with the parents went against the basic right of
freedom of expression, more so since the abuse was in violation of Section 323 of the
Penal Code.
Saying he hoped the police would expedite their investigations, he added, “What is
the difference between a meeting and a discussion?”
He also said, “I take issue with JPN officials saying I am too young and don’t know
anything! This is a case of them distorting the issue as though they are protecting the
perpetrator from being brought to justice.”
Unhappy that the school authorities and JPN have denied the incident of abuse took
place, the parents concerned have planned to hold a media conference organised by
the COAC which will be aired over radio station BFM.
The Ministry of Education, denied that the abuse had taken place despite 
“concrete evidence” to prove that it did - Looks like the govt. is practising 
racism,  and irresponsibility.

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