| Kelantan, Malaysia | 13 Oct 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Malaysian journalist Charanjeet Kaur found herself in the thick of action when the authorities found alive two Orang Asli children who had been missing for 46 days in the jungles of Gua Musang, Kelantan.
In a moving scene, captured on Star TV, the authorities had transferred one of the frail-looking girl onto a vehicle brought in by the Star media crew.
“She was weak, could barely talk…but she gave me a smile, and held my hands tightly,” Star TV assistant news producer Charanjeet says in the report.
The two girls were huddling together when found by a river side, next to a body, believed to be that of their schoolmate.
The two who were part of seven Orang Asli children, between the ages of seven and 11, that had gone missing on Aug 23 from their boarding schools in Pos Tohoi near Gua Musang in Kelantan. Orang Asli means ‘original people’ or ‘aboriginal people’ in Malay.
News reports suggest that the seven children had left the school to look for their elder siblings who had gone into hiding after being reprimanded for swimming in a nearby river.
The elder children had returned later, but the seven must have decided to walk home for the weekend without informing the school authorities.
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“We’re made to understand that the Orang Asli kids are very sensitive to scolding. They would go into hiding,” Charanjeet tells Asia Samachar when contacted on her news dispatches from Gua Musang.
Charanjeet speaks with some experience. At the height of the floods which devastated parts of Kelantan in December 2014, Charanjeet was one of the volunteers with humanitarian agency United Sikhs.
“I had made some friends [amongst the Orang Asli] then. One of them had remained as my constant source of news since,” she says.
The Star is the largest English newspaper in Malaysia.
United Sikhs mission deep into Gua Musang jungles (Asia Samachar, 5 Jan 2015)