Rompin Orang Asli voted BN due to 'fear factor'

Published: 09 May 2015 | 8 May 2015

The Orang Asli voted largely for BN in the Rompin by-election this week because they feared PAS' hudud push and uncertainty with Pakatan Rakyat, among others.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Pahang coordinator Shafie Dris said Pakatan's defeat in the  Pahang seat being blamed on the indigenous voters was likely to be true.

He said out of the roughly 7,000 Orang Asli in the constituency, perhaps only 200 younger voters would support Pakatan, and this could have given BN the majority to defeat PAS.

"The Orang Asli think if they vote for the opposition, they worry that they are 'going from the dragon's mouth into the lion's," said Shafie in a statement yesterday.

"The hudud issue and the way PAS ruled Kelantan, that didn't respect the rights of the Orang Asli there (is another factor).

"What happened in Kelantan became the core factor that scared the Orang Asli (away from Pakatan)," he said.

These were among the several factors that he said made the Orang Asli favour BN.

Other reasons were ignorance of the long-term effects of government policies, and the giving of goodies such as shares and offers of projects such as water and land made during campaigning.

In the by-election on Tuesday, BN's Hasan Arifin won by a 8,895 majority - a dramatic drop of 40.8 percent compared to its majority two years ago at the 2013 general election.

Hasan, a former Pahang deputy menteri besar garnered 23,796 votes to PAS's Nazri Ahmad’s 14,901 votes.



Major land grab issue unsolved

Ironically, Shafie said in his work with the NGO, he found many complaints from the Pahang Orang Asli over land grab by the authorities.

"These include Rompin, such as in Kampung Denai, Kampung Sungai Mok, Kampung Sawak, Kampung Jemeri and Kampung Ganuh, and many more cases of seizure of their ancestral lands that on several occasions resulted in police detention last year because they were defending their ancestral land," he said.

He called on BN to immediately execute their election promises to the Orang Asli in Rompin, especially in terms of water supply and ancestral land rights.

"I also regret the insults by Malaysian society in general against the Orang Asli (for voting BN).

"They did not choose BN for fun, but because they have no other choice and they are lured by the various promises laid out by various quarters, and are concerned for their own future wellbeing.

"As a result of their inclinations, the Orang Asli end up being scorned by the opposition supporters," he lamented.