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The Federal Govt is Suing Kelantan For Violating The Orang Asli’s Land Rights



Source: Tular / Malay Mail

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This is the first time since we got our independence that federal government, Putrajaya has filed a lawsuit against the Kelantan state government for “violating the land rights of the Temiar Orang Asli community” in Gua Musang, reported Malaysiakini.

In a statement, attorney-general Tommy Thomas was quoted as saying,

“For the first time since Merdeka, the federal government is instituting legal proceedings on behalf of the Orang Asli in recognition of the federal government’s constitutional and legal duty to protect and promote their wellbeing and advancement.”

You can read the whole statement below: 

Kenyataan Media 18 Januari 2019 : Kerajaan Persekutuan Mengambil Tindakan Mahkamah Untuk Melindungi Orang Asli /Media Release 18th January 2019 : Federal Government Sues to Protect Orang Asli

Posted by Jabatan Peguam Negara Malaysia I Attorney General's Chambers Malaysia on Friday, January 18, 2019

According to him, the Kelantan state government and its agencies have given private companies the right to do logging in Gua Musang.

Tommy Thomas explained that the rights were given without the consultation of the Temiar community. On top of that, the Temiar community wasn’t even offered compensation in return for logging their land.

He continued,

“Their actions have deprived the Temiar Orang Asli of their native land and resources, and have caused widespread erosion, pollution, and irreparable damage to the ecology and landscape of Pos Simpor (in Gua Musang).”

Although the matters of land, forestry and minings are dependent on the state government’s jurisdiction, they are also obligated to “protect and preserve” the welfare of the Orang Asli community that lives in Gua Musang.

Source: Malay Mail

Tommy then added that the federal government takes issues like this very seriously and the lawsuit was filed today (18 January 2019) at the High Court in Kota Bharu. The defendants named in the lawsuit filed by the federal government are listed below:

  • Kelantan state government 
  • State director of Lands and Mines 
  • State director of the Forestry Department 
  • Five private entities 

The lawsuit will seek legal recognition of the Temiars’ rights over their native land in Pos Simpor. Adding on, it also seeks an order to stop private entities from trespassing and destroying native lands for their commercial profit. Following that, Putrajaya declared that they will represent the Temiar community without any cost.

Source: FMT

Prior to this, last year (2018), the Kelantan government was accused of “stealing” the Orang Asli’s land and the Temiar group participated in a protest to find justice over the issue.

It’s great that the federal government is taking the Temiar Orang Asli community’s land rights issue seriously. That said, we hope that this community will benefit greatly from this lawsuit.


Also read: The Kelantan Govt Has Been Accused of ‘Stealing’ Orang Asli Land, Here’s What We Know

The Kelantan Govt Has Been Accused of 'Stealing' Orang Asli Land, Here's What We Know - WORLD OF BUZZ

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