Malaysian Aboriginals: The Sorry State of Health

Author(s) and Title(s): 
Malaysian Aboriginals: The Sorry State of Health
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Indigenous Peoples

Enclosed are two news articles: a report by Malaysiakini (an online news portal) on disclosures made by Dr. Selva Vathany Pillai concerning malpractice and the misappropriation of resources by hospital authorities at the Gombak Hospital.

This hospital was specially set up to provide health care services to the Orang Asli (translated as “original peoples”) who are the aboriginal peoples of Peninsular Malaysia.

The second, from a local daily theSun, details the lack of action taken by the authorities despite the shocking disclosures.

The Orang Asli (comprising 18 ethnic subgroups) make up some 0.6 percent of the Malaysian population with the highest level of poverty, lowest life expectancy and highest rate of malnutrition, infant mortality and maternal mortality.

Under the law, all aspects of their lives are ‘managed’ by the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA). In short they are wards of the state with limited autonomy over their own affairs.

Publishing Information
Publisher Name: 
Evelyne Hong
18 Mar 2010