Recognition and protection of Orang Asli customary land rights, as important as they may be to Orang Asli, do not appear to be on the menu of election pledges at this stage, says Yogeswaran Subramaniam.
Martin Jalleh highlights a Minister’s denial that Orang Asli children were slapped for not reciting an Islamic prayer even though other government deparments apologised for the disturbing incident.
Aliran is appalled by the arrests of 13 Temiar protesters and a lawyer in Gua Musang yesterday over the local community’s attempted blockade to safeguard their community’s interests against the intrusion of loggers into their villages.
An amendment to article 153 to cover Orang Asli will not automatically increase Orang Asli rights to their customary lands, territories and resources, writes Yogeswaran Subramaniam.
Mustafa K Anuar gets us to imagine the Orang Asli land issue if roles were reversed: what would we think if a big chunk of concrete jungle on prime KL land had to be demolished to make way for the Orang Asli’s ‘strategic plan’ to plant tapioca and rice for their survival?
The Pakatan-led government had from the beginning stated its good intentions for the community – and it has walked the talk, says Colin Nicholas.
Christians in the Temiar village of Pos Pasik, about 70km northeast of Gua Musang in Kelantan, have been told by the Department of Orang Asli Affairs (JHEOA) that they have no permission to build a church on their land, writes Colin Nicholas.
It is high time that the government thinks ‘out-of–the box’ and explores the notion that Orang Asli progress lies in empowering Orang Asli over their customary lands, says Yogeswaran Subramaniam.
Never assume that Orang Asli are not deserving of their customary lands, says Yogeswaran Subramaniam. Law, human rights, justice and morality demand that we give Orang Asli due respect and recognition of their customary lands.
Orang Asli protest over proposed land policy – Photo by Komas
Some 2,500 Orang Asli gathered in Putrajaya on 17 March 2010 to oppose a proposed Orang Asli land policy. Yogeswaran Subramaniam looks at what they want and examines if their demands are ‘relevant’ from the government’s perspective.