The Fringe Dwellers

bim-inside-pages152 bim-inside-pages154Most of Orang Asli living in Kampung Sinai are Temuan, who work in the nearby rubber and oil palm estates. The village is fairly isolated and without proper roads so one can only reach it via four-wheel drive, motorcycle or on foot. After heavy rains, the track is so muddy, nothing can get through.

This isolation and inaccessibility has had a detrimental effect on the children’s education. Parents understand the value of education but sometimes it is impossible to send their children to school. To overcome this, many of them send their children to boarding schools run by the government or NGOs.

Just before my visit, one of the men had passed away unexpectedly. The entire village came together to support the bereaved family. At the wake, which took the form of a cookout, the sense of community was palpable.

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