Me and Alex tried to enter Pantai Cunang beach in Tanjung Sepat and found the sandy track accessible to only motorcycles. While looking at the map, we saw an Orang Asli Village (indigenous or aboriginal people) nearby. Further reading revealed they are of the Mah Meri tribe and many are fishing people like the town folk.
Not too long ago, I met a Chinese man in Morib who is married to an Orang Asli woman with a daughter in tow (inset). When the woman told me she is Mah Meri, I instinctively asked if she is from Carey Island. They told me they are from Sungai Pelek near Tanjung Sepat. Thanks to the friendly chat with the couple, I found out there are many interracial marriages between Orang Asli and the Chinese farmers in the area.
According to them there is a big Orang Asli community in Sungi Pelek and the modern Orang Asli town has a fried chicken outlet in the middle now, as I was to discover later. Sad. Hehe.
Sungai Pelek has a checkered history with British Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer accusing the residents of supporting communist insurgents at one time and the town’s pig farming industry was tragically wiped out by the JE virus epidemic in 1989. The town is back on its feet.
I hope this Orang Asli family by the roadside near Cunang Beach were not walking back from Sungai Pelek. It is quite a distance by foot.
#tanjungsepat #orangasli #mahmeri #goldcoast #sungaipelek #rural #smalltown