Many Malaysians have been following the recent events transpiring in Kelantan, involving the state’s Orang Asli community. Over the past year, private logging companies have been violently breaking into this community’s settlements after the Kelantan state government granted these companies permission to do so.
Activists and politicians alike have since accused the Kelantan government of stealing their land after Kota Bharu MP Takiyuddin Hassan stated that indigenous land belonged to the state government. Orang Asli activists have been protesting against these private companies breaking into their villages, but incidents like this continue to happen almost every other day now.
Most recently, a group of enforcement personnel was in the middle of tearing down a blockade at an Orang Asli village in Gua Musang, Kelantan when a group of peaceful protesters began singing the national anthem earlier on Monday (27th August), according to The Star.
As soon as the Orang Asli protesters began singing ‘Negaraku‘, the personnel immediately stopped tearing the blockade down and stood still. However, the brief moment of peace soon ended after the song was over, and they continued working on taking down the blockade. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan president Mustafa Along told the daily,
“Everybody stood still. Although we could not sing in unison because some sang fast and some very slow, everyone waited patiently until the slowest person finished singing.”
The team of enforcers was reportedly ordered by the Kelantan government to take down blockades in Cawas, Kaleeg, Kiyeh, and Pasik. However, villagers were not served any notice of this recent demolition.
“From our previous experience, we were served with notices prior to demolition.”
Orang Asli activists recently met with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier this month (August) and explained the situation in Kelantan. After hearing them out personally, the prime minister assured them that the Pakatan Harapan government would try negotiating with the Kelantan PAS government.
What are your thoughts on this recent incident? Let us know in the comments below!
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