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(From New Straits Times (Malaysia))
Byline: Arni Abdul Razak
WRITING a book and getting it published is no easy task, especially for an Orang Asli. Mahat anak Cina tells ARNI ABDUL RAZAK the obstacles.
TUNTUT - a collection of short stories detailing the lives of the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia - was published in 2001, almost three decades after the author initiated the effort.
It was a long wait but it inspired Mahat anak Cina, a Semai from Slim River, Perak, to produce more literary works.
Mahat, the first Orang Asli to publish a collection of his own stories, is hopeful that his recently-concluded novel on the enslavement of the Orang Asli in Perak in 1874 will be launched next month.
"The novel is a combination of history and fiction. The story is real. It was told to me by the elders in my village," says the father of four, who goes by his pen …