Witness #3 | Siti Fida A/P Tan Kok Tow
Siti is from the Jakun tribe of Kampung Kemendol, located in Kuala Rompin, Pahang. She is 20, and the youngest of six siblings. She likes going for walks in the jungle and fishing. Siti cooks whatever she catches from fishing and looking for clams, to eat together with her mother.
Siti’s Story | I Quit School Because My Family Could Not Afford It
When I was seven years old, I entered Standard One at Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Rompin (Rompin Primary National School). I felt scared and nervous. Halfway during the school day, I had found many new friends. I saw people of various races in school. Since then, I often went to school to increase my knowledge. My favourite subject was English. When I was in school, I liked to borrow books from the library to read stories I didn’t know.
In school, I was often bullied by a boy. He liked to make fun of my father’s name. When I made fun of his father’s name, he chased me. I ran to the toilet and hid in there for almost half an hour. When I opened the door, I saw a mop that the bully had brought. Since that incident, I hated that bully.
In class the next day, I accidentally hit a girl on her head with a pencil. The girl cried and told the teacher. The teacher scolded me for what I did to the girl. Since then, I didn’t like the teacher because the bullying that I faced was not given any attention at all.
When I was in secondary school, I liked playing badminton and even represented my school at the district level. I also went camping, and participated in many activities with friends and those I met during the camping trip. When I was in Form Three, my father passed away and my family could not afford to pay for my schooling. I had to quit school.
This testimony is reproduced with permission, and has been translated from the following original testimony in Bahasa Malaysia:
Siti Fida A/P Tan Kok Tow. "Saya Berhenti Sekolah Kerana Tidak Bermampu." Kami Pun Ada Hak Bersekolah: Wanita Orang Asli Bersuara. Edited by Danker, Brenda and Rusaslina Idrus. Freedom Film Network. 2019. pp 39-42.