Orang asli are highlighting their plight on social media

26 October 2015

SEGAMAT: Despite being illiterate, odd-job labourer Salleh Aa’er is determined to use a smartphone to highlight the concerns of his orang asli village.

“So far, we have done several videos. One of them was about a problem with the electrical substation in our village,” said Salleh, 42.

Salleh, who lives in Kampung Orang Asli Tamok, Bekok, is among seven orang asli who were selected to undergo a two-day training by the South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO) new Citizen Science Reporter (CSR) programme.

Their mission is to raise their plight on social media.

Salleh said that he and his fellow villagers have uploaded the videos on Facebook and YouTube.

“It was initially difficult for me to explain our problems to the authorities as most of us from my group are illiterate.

“But now I am eager to do so through visual aids, thanks to the new skill I have developed,” he said in an interview.

During his training, Salleh worked on a video which focused on the problem of the power supply substation’s proximity to his village, which could possibly pose a danger to the community there.

“We have complained to the authorities about the substation being too close to the village. And finally I am able to explain the problem visually, thanks to the skills I learnt from the programme.”

CSR coordinator Ummu Hani Abd Ghani said the programme, which was offered free, would help identify issues within the local community, especially health related ones.

“The programme also teaches participants to be more accurate in highlighting their plight. The training includes practical news gathering using their smart phones including learning how to edit the footage, captions and subtitles before sharing their compilations via social websites,” she said.

She said that participants were also trained in basic principles such as verifying facts, obtaining consent and taking responsibility for what they produced.

The programme, which kicked off with the group of orang asli from the Jakun tribe in Bekok, saw positive response and brief documentaries produced covering various topics, she added.

This article is related to CULTURE ORANG ASLI SOCIAL MEDIA

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