7 Things You Should Know About Malaysia's First Orang Asli MP – Ramli Mohd Nor

The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate won the Cameron Highlands by-election yesterday, 26 January.

Cover image via Sinar Harian

Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Ramli Mohd Nor was declared winner of the Cameron Highlands by-election yesterday, 26 January

Image via Malay Mail

Malay Mail reported that Ramli won the by-election with 12,038 votes yesterday, which constituted 56.18% of the votes. Meanwhile, Pakatan Harapan candidate M. Manogaran obtained just over 41% of the votes.

The BN victory signifies the coalition's uninterrupted reign on the parliamentary seat in the last four general elections. 

Ramli has since created history by becoming the first Orang Asli Member of Parliament (MP) in Malaysia. Here are a few things to know about him:

1. He spent 34 years of his life with the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM)

Ramli (right) at the ceremony for his appointment as the Penang Commercial Crime chief in 2015.

Image via Sejarah

Once Malaysia's highest ranking Orang Asli policeman, Ramli had an impressive run of being the Commercial Crime chief for two states – Negeri Sembilan and Penang.

Before his retirement in October 2018, Ramli was deputy director at the Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department.

2. He is a Semai tribesman from Ringlet, Cameron Highlands

According to Free Malaysia Today, the 61-year-old was born to a Semai father from Cameron Highlands, while his Temiar mother came from Gua Musang, Kelantan. 

Ramli was born at an Orang Asli settlement in Gombak, Selangor.

3. His father, a founding member of a jungle fighting force, was against him joining the police force

"I have always wanted to be part of the squad like my father, but he would not let me," Ramli told New Straits Times in 2015.

Ramli's father, Datuk Mohd Nor Abdullah was the founding member of the Senoir Praaq, a jungle fighting force which was trained by the British Special Air Service to counter communist insurgence. 

"Even when I first signed up at Pulapol (Malaysian Police Training Centre), my father stopped me twice. (But) I managed to get in on my third trial," the Cameron Highlands MP added. 

Ramli finally received his father's blessings after the third trial.

4. He graduated from the University of East London with superb results

New Straits Times reported that the Cameron Highlands MP graduated with a first-class honours in Business Studies, before going on to obtain distinction for a Masters in Public Administration

According to Free Malaysia Today, Ramli is currently pursuing a doctorate in Business Studies.

Ramli had previously advised the Orang Asli community to climb out of poverty through education.

"I climbed up because of education. Make sure you use the Department of Orang Asli Affairs' allocation for education. The department even sponsors your studies overseas," he told New Straits Times in 2015.

5. He was one of the 57 policemen around the world who received training with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

In 2014, New Straits Times reported that Ramli spent three months at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia in the United States with 56 policemen from other countries. 

He was taught the latest technologies in investigation, among other things. 

6. He understands Mandarin speakers

Earlier this month, Ramli was asked by Utusan Online whether it was true that he can converse in Mandarin.

"I'm not that proficient in Mandarin but if people speak, I understand. I just stutter a little when it comes to responding to them," the Cameron Highlands MP said. 

7. He wants to tackle the problem of illegal immigrants in Cameron Highlands

Free Malaysia Today reported Ramli as saying that illegal migration in the plantation sector requires "special security attention". 

"Some operators are protected by the authorities or certain parties. We must stamp this out once and for all," he said, when met with Free Malaysia Today on 23 January. 

The Cameron Highlands MP also has plans to improve the traffic situation and "environmental vandalism" in his constituency.

Congratulations, Ramli!

Here's a recap of the weeks leading up to the by-election:

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