Friday, February 28, 2020

Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve in Danger

On Wednesday, two hundred and fifty members of the Orang Asli community from 12 villages in the vicinity of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve had travelled to Shah Alam in eight buses to convey six letters of protest to the Selangor government. 

They are opposed to the proposed de-gazetting of the 930ha forest and urged the state government to reconsider the move. 

Last week Thursday, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari had defended the proposed de-gazetting of the forest because 40 percent of the forest no longer had elements of a virgin forest, among other factors. The state exco is expected to discuss the objections of the Orang Asli. 

The state government should know that they owed a fiduciary duty to the Orang Asli in respect of their customary land rights (see Kerajaan Negeri Selangor v Sagong Bin Tasi [2005] 6 MLJ 289). 

The Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve dispute is symptomatic of the refusal of the federal and state governments to legally recognize the rights of the Orang Asli to live on and off their ancestral lands. 

We must respect the Orang Asli’s rights because they are indigenous to that said domain. Plus the fact that they are Malaysians too. 

On Thursday, I was in Petaling Jaya, Selangor to attend the IJM Toastmasters meeting – where I delivered my CC#9 Persuade with Power titled Sunrise, Sunset – which is my project speech #875.

Thanks to Maheindran, Vice President Education for making this arrangement for me.

No comments: