GUA MUSANG, 14 Sept 2008: In a sign of protest, Orang Asli in nine villages near Kuala Betis are refusing to send their children to Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuala Betis until the roads leading to their villages are repaired.
The protest started after a bus that ferried their children to and from school daily lost control and landed on its side near Kampung Jenut at 6am today due to the poor road condition, resulting in 190 school children being stranded.
The nine affected villages are Jenut, Merlong, Chengkelik, Lambok, Limau, Padang, Taman Seri Galas, Podet and Angkek.
Village head Damak Angah said they feared for the safety of their children who were constantly exposed to danger when travelling to and from school.
He said the decision to not send their children to school was made as a last-ditch effort to urge the authorities to repair the roads after earlier appeals saw no action.
"The roads are used by heavy-duty lorries involved in logging and we had written to the three companies involved to repair the roads but until today no action has been taken," he said.
Meanwhile, Ramli Tuis, 43, the father of a student said his child only attended school a number of days in a month due to the poor road condition.
He added that their patience had run thin after numerous discussions with the involved parties failed to find a solution to their plight.
"We feel that staging a protest and stopping our children from going to school until the roads are repaired is the only way to draw attention from the relevant authorities, including the government," he said. – Bernama