08 August 2011

Landslide-hit Orang Asli Settlement Popular Tourist Destination

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- The Orang Asli settlement in Sungai Ruil, Cameron Highlands that was hit by a landslide tragedy Sunday is one of two Orang Asli settlements in the hill resort popular with tourists.

This and the Kampung Pagan Orang Asli settlement are noted destinations in the guided tours organised for tourists and their homestay packages in the highlands.

There are some 145 houses in the Sungai Ruil settlement which is located about five kilometres from Tanah Rata, the biggest of three towns in Cameron Highlands, the others being Brinchang and Ringlet.

In days gone by, the Orang Asli in Sungai Ruil were noted for their hunting and fishing skills with the blowpipe the weapon of choice in hunting for small game like wild fowls.

However, with the advent of modernisation, they found their niche in selling jungle produce to tourists and taking up jobs in the public and private sector.

From thatched roofed houses, their homes also changed to plank and semi-concrete and concrete houses and satellite antennas are not an uncommong sight at them.

There is also an Orang Asli Affairs Department in the district to look after their welfare.

Cameron Highlands, a popular tourist destination in the country among locals and foreigners alike, is located 1,829 metres above sea level and has a cool climate with daily temperatures ranging from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius.

In Sunday's tragedy which happened at 5.45pm, at least three people were confirmed dead and three others seriously injured when the landslide buried three houses and slighty damaged two.


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