Kelantan Offers RM10,000 Reward To Marry Orang Asli
The PAS-led Kelantan government will give a RM10,000 reward to Muslim preachers who marry natives (Orang Asli). Kelantan Missionary and Islamic Development Committee chairman Hassan Mahmood said the state government would also provide accommodation to them at the Orang Asli settlements, particularly in Gua Musang and Jeli, to facilitate their missionary activities.
"The move is made because the state government is dissatisfied with the missionary achievements. The 2005 data showed only 2,094 Orang Asli converted to Islam out of the 12,000 Orang Asli population in Kelantan," he told reporters here during a break of the state assembly sitting, Monday. He said the marriage reward was part of the incentives for missionaries under the newly-formed Orang Asli Missionary Unit of the Kelantan Islamic Religious Department.
Replying to a supplementary question from Mohamad Adhan Kechik (BN-Bukit Bunga) earlier, Hassan said it was not too late to form such a unit to strengthen the state's missionary efforts. In addition to the marriage reward, Hassan said other perks would include a RM1,000 allowance, accommodation and a four-wheel drive vehicle. "God willing, we will extend (the incentives) to male and female missionaries," he added.
He said the Kelantan Islamic Religious Department was giving emphasis to missionary efforts on the Orang Asli by appointing S41-level officers who were supported by five staff and one administrative officer. The number of officers and staff for the unit would be increased after this, he added.
Prior to this, missionary work among the Orang Asli was carried out with the cooperation of the Kelantan Malay Customs and Islamic Council, and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department.
Meanwhile, assemblyman Saufi Deraman (BN-Galas) questioned the rationale behind such rewards. "What about the Muslims in the country? Why were they not given such perks when they married Chinese and Indians. Aren't they Malaysians like the Orang Asli?" he asked.