Another Orang Asli church to be demolished

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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.

The new church under construction - Photo by Colin Nicholas, COAC

On 20 May 2010, the village head wrote to the Director-General of the JHEOA to inform him of their plan to build the church in their village, half of whom have converted to Christianity in recent years.

However, on 9 August 2010, the Deputy Director-General, writing on behalf of the D-G, replied that their “application” to build the church had been rejected and the community was asked to stop work on the building immediately.

The Orang Asli are not happy with this answer as they did not seek permission from the JHEOA. They merely exercised courtesy to inform them of their plans. The Orang Asli of Pos Pasik consider it their right to build such a structure on their land, in accordance with the Constitution.

The lawyer representing the Temiar headman has recently written to the D-G informing him that the department’s permission was not being sought. He also sought the reasons for the rejection of the church building.

If the church is demolished or stopped, it will be the second Orang Asli church in the state of Kelantan (and no less than five in the peninsula altogether) that have been demolished by the authorities on the basis of various excuses, including that the Orang Asli do not have rights to the land concerned.

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But it is evident that the issue is religion-related as other structures, including suraus, have been build on such lands without any issue.

But as land is a state matter, the Temiars of Pos Pasik are seeking the intervention of the Menteri Besar of Kelantan in this matter.

For further details, please contact: Pastor Moses Soo – 012 3255678

For copies of letters mentioned in this report and some images, go to: www.coac.org.my

Colin Nicholas is coordinator of the Center for Orang Asli Concerns

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Concerned Teacher
Concerned Teacher
13 Nov 2010 1.04pm

Kudos to Colin Nicholas on a well-written and researched article. This is just another outrage committed by the “People in Power” (PiP), who happen to belong to one particular ethnic category and profess one particular faith. Mark my words, the situation (might have been) very different had these Temiars been building a (different house of worship). In fact, they would not have even had to lift a finger, because the PiP would have taken care of everything… More atrocities of the kind described in this fine article will continue to be committed by the PiP and their cronies as long as the public is too scared to speak up for the oppressed and downtrodden. Although it is clearly detrimental to one’s health, freedom and well-being to say anything against the PiP in this blessed land of ours, the voice of truth, justice and reason can never be completely stilled. There are other ways to set things right. The PiP have not yet turned us into another Burma. Elections here still have some degree of validity and credibility, so one’s vote should be used wisely. Though the… Read more »

Astina
Astina
14 Oct 2010 7.12pm

Over zealous officials at the behest of certain religious leaders have targeted this attack on the house of worship
Whover destroys down an house of worship shows disrespect to GOD and the rights of the people for religious freedom as enshrined on our FC.

Its sad when Tok Guru himslef is keeping quiet on this matter as he was supposed to be a fair minded individual.

Perhaps the goverment is afraid that the “original son of soil” will all convert to Christianity instead of the official religion??.