GUA MUSANG, 11 Jan 2019:
The Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) – in collaboration with the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM or Bomba) Air Unit – will transport 66 stranded Orang Asli students from four remote villages in the district to their respective schools.
Kelantan/Terengganu Jakoa director Hashim Alang Abdul Hamid said the agreement was reached during their meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
He said three JBPM helicopters would be used in the operations – scheduled for Jan 23 to 25 – to transport the students from Pos Simpor, Bihai, Pos Tohoi and Pos Gob to their schools, which would also provide boarding facilities for them.
The 66 students are part of a group of 151 students from the four villages who were unable to make it to their eight respective schools on Jan 1 – as they had been stranded because the roads heading to their villages were badly damaged and inaccessible to vehicles.
Hashim Alang said while providing the alternative transport was costly for Jakoa, it had to be carried out as the Orang Asli students could not afford to miss their lessons and be left behind.
He said that with plans to repair and upgrade some of the damaged roads, he hoped the roads in the area would be more accessible in the coming year.