Saturday, August 4, 2018

Tackling Kelantan's Orang Asli Land Issue

Meeting the people: Sivarasa speaking to the orang asli during his visit to Kampung Kaleg, Pos Tohoi in Kelantan. Bernama pix 

It is really heart-warming to read that Rural Development Deputy Minister R Sivarasa is being pro-active and taking up the orang asli land issue. 

He has indicated that he wants to hold a meeting with the Kelantan government to look into gazetting the indigenous people's customary land – which is long overdue. 

Over the last six months, villagers there had set up blockades in Pos Tohoi in Kelantan to stop rampant logging and land clearing activities in the disputed customary land. 

On Saturday, they also lodged a police report, claiming durian plantation workers had set up a counter-blockade to curb their freedom of movement. 

This is an escalation of harassment against the aboriginal people there.

Fortunately, the police acted swiftly to warn plantation workers not to deny orang asli access into the jungle. 

The Kelantan government under PAS have become both deaf and blind to the orang asli’s plight. 

We really need to understand that the latter only wish to preserve their customary land for the survival of their future generations. The PH federal government must do the necessary to help the orang asli.

In the first post-GE14 by-election, Pakatan Harapan candidate Zawawi Ahmad Mughni (left) retained Sungai Kandis with 15,427 votes giving him a 5,842 majority. 

His opponent UMNO’s Lokman Noor Adam received 9,585 votes whilst independent candidate K Murthy received 97 votes. 

Only 49.4% of the constituency’s 50,800 turned out to cast their votes.

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