Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zunar Memang CILAKE kih kih kih


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Saya Bukan Melayu Saya Orang Asli

Speaking at an Orang Asli convention in December 2009 in Kuala Lumpur. This was when the idea to organise a march to Putrajaya in March 2010 to protest against a controversial land policy first emerged

ONCE, when she attended a job interview in the Klang Valley, Tijah Yok Chopil’s Malaysian employer did not get it when she told him she was an Orang Asli.

“Dia ingat saya orang Indonesia atau Melayu … Saya beritahunya [selalu kita cakap] Melayu, Cina, India dan lain-lain, saya [sebahagian daripada] dan lain-lain … Apabila saya beritahunya ada 18 suku kaum Orang Asli di Semenanjung, dia lagi pening,” Tijah recalled.

The activist said it goes to show how ignorant some Malaysians could be about the indigenous people in Malaysia.

Tijah started her activism by founding her own women’s group in her kampung in Bidor, Perak called Kumpulan Ibu-Ibu Kampung Chang. From there, the group evolved into Sinui Pai, Nanek Sengik (New Life, One Heart) in 1995. They ran programmes to empower the community with economic skills and knowledge about their rights.

Over the years, the model spread to other villages in Perak and other states, eventually resulting in the formation of Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOAS). The grassroots network has been highlighting Orang Asli issues and campaigning for the government’s recognition of their land and indigenous rights.

Tijah, who is now JKOAS secretary, shares her humble beginnings and some Orang Asli folk tales with The Nut Graph in an interview on 23 Oct 2010 in Petaling Jaya.

TNG: Bila dan di mana Tijah dilahirkan?

Saya berasal dari Kampung Chang Lama Sungai Gepai di Bidor, Perak dan dilahirkan pada 17 March 1968 – sama tarikh dengan demonstrasi Orang Asli tahun lepas di Putrajaya.

Boleh kongsi asal-usul keturunan Tijah?

Saya tulen berketurunan Semai.
Mengikut kepercayaan nenek moyang saya, komuniti Semai sudah wujud di sini semenjak batu-batu masih lembut. Buktinya tapak-tapak kaki yang masih kekal di atas batu dekat kawasan air terjun kami.



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