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KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) will get the Orang Asli community to be more actively involved in efforts to ensure environmental sustainability, said Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

He said the community is capable of being the frontline in preserving and conserving the flora and fauna ecosystems because they have the knowledge and skills in using environmental resources that can have a minimal impact on the risk of pollution.

Citing the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Tiger Protection Society of Malaysia’s (RIMAU) initiative with the Orang Asli community in Royal Belum State Park, Perak, he said efforts to protect the Malayan Tiger would be difficult if there was no involvement from them (Orang Asli).

“I see that even at Royal Belum, the NGO not only conducts educational programmes but also organise cultural programmes with the Orang Asli community in getting buy-in as well as to ensure that they play a role as the frontline.

“Even though the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) comes under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, we will work together to get the Orang Asli community to participate more actively in preserving the environment,“ he said after officiating at a tree planting programme organised by AEON BIG in Gombak here today.

Also present were Selangor and Federal Territories JAKOA director Mohamad Anis Othman and AEON BIG managing director Sheikh Farouk Sheikh Mohamed.

On the programme today, Nik Nazmi said 300 fruit and forest trees would be planted by JAKOA in collaboration with AEON BIG involving a total of 70 volunteers, with the support of several agencies such as Jungle School Gombak.

“The government would also like to thank AEON BIG for playing an active role as a responsible corporate citizen. In fact, they are also participating in the Payung Rahmah programme,” he said.

At the event, AEON BIG also donated 10 Bakul Rahmah food baskets, each containing daily necessities worth RM50 for the Orang Asli families involved. - Bernama