An “Eye-Opener” Journey into Heartland of Orang Asli

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Members of the Lions Club of Sunway and its branch club, Ipoh Riverview Club, had an “eye-opener” journey into the heartland of the Orang Asli in Cameron Highlands recently. It started at Batu 3 along the Tringkap-Kampung Raja Road.

“It was a narrow, winding and bumpy route. On top of that it was treacherous and we held onto the side bars of the four-wheel-drive for our dear lives”, described C.A. Lau, president of the Ipoh Riverview Club.

“Upon reaching the kampong where the dilapidated huts were a common sight, we alighted from the vehicles to be welcomed by the Orang Asli folks especially the children. They were curious of our presence especially when we were in our Lions Club T-shirts.”

The village headman, whom they had contacted earlier through a friend, came out and greeted the group.

He said the journey to the heartland was made possible by volunteers in Cameron Highlands who helped to ferry 1,000 kg of rice, 250 kg of oil and loads of dried rations. Well-wishers and supporters had contributed about RM5,000 for the project to be realized.

“It was an arduous task loading and unloading the goods. It was back breaking but it was all for a good cause. The pain was easily forgotten”, said Lau.

Rice, oil and dried rations were then officially handed over to the Penghulu. After that, the members took the opportunity to mingle with the children who swarmed around them.

“The undernourished children and living conditions dawned upon us how lucky we were. It was truly an enlightening trip that gave us new awareness of our roles as humans”, he added.

Jerry Francis