"I delved into Islam with friends even while at school and today I had the opportunity to recite the syahadah (declaration of the Islamic faith)," said Nor Laili Osaman of the Makmur Orang Asli village in Ulu Kinta.

Nor Laili, 21, was among 44 Orang Asli from Kinta and Tapah who embraced Islam at the village yesterday.

The eldest of five siblings said she had followed her Muslim friends to religious lectures and visited neighbours' houses during Aidilfitri.

"I am the only one who chose to embrace Islam in my family, but my parents and family members respect my decision," she told reporters here.

For Muhamad Rusdi, 42, the decision to convert to Islam did not come too late, and he was grateful for having made the move.

"Many villagers here have embraced Islam. I was influenced by them and I feel that God wants to take me to the right path," he said.

The programme was attended by Perak Islamic Religious Department deputy director Harith Fadzillah Abd Halim and Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) director-general (human development) Datuk Razali Shahabuddin.