The Orang Asli in the interior areas of Gua Musang are complaining about the high price of essential items, including rice and sugar, sold by retailers in their villages.
An Orang Asli of the Temiar tribe, Anglah Angah, 41, of Kampung Kelaik, Pos Blau, said that in his village, he had to pay more than RM50 for a packet of 10 kg rice or RM20 for a 5kg packet and RM5 for a packet of 1-kg sugar.
As such, he said, he was forced to go to the Gua Musang, which is almost 100 kilometres away, to get food supplies at a cheaper price.
"There are eight members in my family, so 10 kg of rice can only last for a week. Today, I travelled almost 100 km by motorbike to come to Gua Musang town to get cheaper rice at only RM39 for 10 kg," he said when met by reporters in Bandar Baru, here.
Another Orang Asli, Along Uda, 30, said the majority of residents earned their living by selling forest products and the income was not much.
"Most of us sell bamboo in Blue Valley, Cameron Highlands (Pahang) at a price of RM0.50 per stick. The price of bamboo is getting cheaper but the price of rice and other food is increasing.
"We are really affected by the current situation. Before, we could rely on tapioca, but now even tapioca is difficult to get because most of the area has been developed for the Musang King project,” he added.
Meanwhile, the co-chairmen of the Gua Musang Consumer Movement, Zamzani Harun, said they had been receiving complaints from the Orang Asli about the high prices of goods in their settlements.
"They complained that the price of rice had risen sharply and are seeking our assistance to monitor the situation. We have informed the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) about it and to take the necessary action,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency