According to the Malaysia Star on July 10th, the Orang Asli don’t suffer from headaches as much as modern city dwellers do. Prof. Dr. Raymond Azaman Ali, a neurologist at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, indicated at an annual neurosciences conference in Petaling Jaya that 60 percent of the patients in neuro clinics in Malaysian city hospitals are seeking help for their headaches.
The doctor told reporters that the headaches that plague urban residents are caused by stresses and hectic lifestyles. He compared the problem to rural Malaysian residents, who rarely suffer from severe headaches. He particularly cited a research project at an Orang Asli community (he didn’t indicate if it was Semai, Batek, Chewong, or another society) where people “did not suffer from headaches unlike those who lived nearer to the city such as Bukit Lanjan.”
Endicott and Dentan, in a scholarly article reviewed here on March 24th, while acknowledging that the Malaysian government has helped eliminate some diseases among the Orang Asli, maintain that “malaria and tuberculosis are still serious problems, respiratory diseases are common, pollution-caused diseases have increased, and malnutrition is widespread ….” In other words, although the Orang Asli suffer from serious ailments, at least they don’t have headaches.