No races sidelined: Minister
PUTRAJAYA: No races in the country will be sidelined in the pursuit of education, including the orang asli group.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the government has never lost its focus in ensuring that the indigenous group is on equal footing in terms of education.
He said in Peninsular Malaysia, there are more than 90 schools built near orang asli settlements to serve them.
“There are some who said we did not prioritise the orang asli group, when in fact we did,” he said.
“In states such as Perak and Pahang, we prepared the ‘asrama desa’, where they can gather, but go to a different school,” he said in his speech at an aid presentation ceremony at the ministry’s building here.
The ceremony saw Tanjung Offshore Berhad contributing a permanent building block to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Berua in Terengganu, where most of its students consist of orang asli.
Mahdzir said the government always provides opportunities for Malaysians to pursue their studies, regardless of their background.
He cited the example of Nor Syakina Jam, an orang asli currently pursuing her doctorate in Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland.