Kerajaan Selangor seharusnya mempertimbangkan kesemua hak tanah, sumber Orang Asli sebelum mengeluarkan tanah daripada hutan simpan kekal Kuala Langat Utara (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Badan Peguam Malaysia bimbang dengan pandangan kerajaan Negeri Selangor mengenai hak tanah dan sumber Orang Asli berhubung dengan cadangan untuk mengeluarkan sekitar 930 hektar tanah yang terletak di dalam hutan simpan Kuala Langat Utara (HSKLU).

Menteri besar Selangor dilaporkan telah menyatakan bahawa rekod kerajaan negeri menunjukkan bahawa “hanya” terdapat kawasan rayau untuk Orang Asli di dalam kawasan HSKLU.

Walau bagaimanapun, penelitian FMS Government Gazette Notification No 2578 yang bertarikh 19 April 1927 mengenai pewartaaan HSKLU mendedahkan bahawa kerajaan kolonial Selangor telah dengan nyatanya mengakui hak dan menyerahkan keistimewaan kepada Orang Asli Bukit Prah, Pulau Kempas dan Bukit Kemandol, berkenaan tempat tinggal dan penggunaan HSKLU oleh Orang Asli tersebut.

Pengakuan dan konsesi rasmi yang terkandung di dalam warta HSKLU tersebut merupakan dokumen yang kukuh mengenai sejarah penghunian, tempat tinggal dan penggunaan kawasan tersebut oleh masyarakat Orang Asli.

Senario ini berpotensi untuk menimbulkan hak common law yang boleh dikuatkuasakan untuk keturunan Orang Asli yang dijelaskan di dalam warta HSKLU yang masih menghuni atau menggunakan kawasan tersebut.

Adalah menjadi suatu kesilapan dari segi undang-undang untuk menteri besar menganggap bahawa tanah yang terletak di dalam kawasan HSKLU yang dituntut oleh Orang Asli berkenaan hanyalah tempat mencari makan atau kawasan “rayau” yang tidak mempunyai sebarang kepentingan undang-undang.

Selama lebih daripada dua dekad, mahkamah tertinggi di Malaysia telah mengiktiraf hak kawasan mencari makan dan hasil hutan adat Orang Asli sebagai suatu hak terhadap harta yang dilindungi di sisi undang-undang di bawah common law dan perkara 13 Perlembagaan Persekutuan (sebagai contoh, lihat Adong Bin Kuwau v Kerajaan Negeri Johor [1997]).

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Selaras dengan kewajipan fidusiari kerajaan negeri terhadap Orang Asli berkenaan dengan hak tanah adat mereka (lihat Kerajaan Negeri Selangor v Sagong Bin Tasi [2005]), Badan Peguam Malaysia dengan tegasnya menggesa kerajaan negeri Selangor untuk berunding dengan komuniti Orang Asli yang berkaitan untuk menentukan kesemua hak mereka di dalam HSKLU, termasuklah hak common law, sebelum mempertimbangkan kuasanya untuk mengeluarkan tanah berkenaan darpada HSKLU.

Setelah membuat penentuan tersebut, Badan Peguam Malaysia meminta supaya kerajaan Selangor mencapai satu penyelesaian saksama pertikaian ini yang tidak akan mencabul hak undang-undang komuniti Orang Asli yang terlibat. Kegagalan untuk berbuat demikian membawa risiko litigasi berpanjangan, perbelanjaan dan merosakkan reputasi negeri.

Malangnya, pertikaian HSKLU sekali lagi adalah kesan keengganan kerajaan persekutuan dan negeri untuk mengiktiraf hak Orang Asli di sisi undang-undang untuk terus hidup dan bergantung hidup di atas tanah pusaka mereka.

Oleh yang demikian, Badan Peguam Malaysia mengulangi seruannya kepada kerajaan persekutuan dan negeri untuk mengambil tindakan berikut:

  • Sebagai tindakan interim, mengenakan suatu moratorium ke atas pewujudan kepentingan terhadap mana-mana tanah dan sumber dan ke atas penerusan pengeluaran sumber dan aktiviti penguatkuasaan di dalam kawasan yang didakwa sebagai kawasan adat Orang Asli, sementara menunggu penyelesaian tuntutan kawasan adat komuniti Orang Asli yang terjejas
  • Melaksanakan 18 syor yang terkandung di dalam Laporan Inkuiri Nasional Mengenai Hak Tanah Orang Asli/Asal di Malaysia 2013 oleh Suhakam
  • Melalui perundingan dan kerjasama dengan masyarakat Orang Asli, mengambil semua langkah yang berpatutan, termasuklah tindakan perundangan, untuk mencapai semangat dan niat Deklarasi Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu mengenai Hak Orang Asli 2007 (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007)
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Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor ialah yang dipertua Badan Peguam Malaysia

English version

Selangor government should consider full extent of Orang Asli land, resource rights before excising Kuala Langat north forest reserve

The Malaysian Bar is perturbed by the Selangor state government’s views on Orang Asli land and resource rights in relation to the proposeexcision of around 930 hectares of land located within the Kuala Langat north forest reserve (KLNFR).

The Selangor menteri besar reportedly stated that state government records showed that there was “only” foraging land for the Orang Asli within the KLNFR.

However, a perusal of the FMS Government Gazette Notification No 2578 dated 19 April 1927 on the creation of the KLNFR reveals that the Selangor colonial government had expressly admitted rights and conceded privileges to the Orang Asli households of Bukit Prah, Pulau Kempas and Bukit Kemandol, in respect of their inhabitation, use and enjoyment of the KLNFR.

The official admission and concession contained in the KLNFR gazette constitutes a strong suggestion of historical Orang Asli occupation, inhabitation, enjoyment and use of the area in question.

This scenario potentially gives rise to legally enforceable common law rights for the descendants of the Orang Asli households described in the KLNFR gazette who still occupy, use or enjoy the area.

It would be legally erroneous for the menteri besar to assume that the lands located within the KLNFR claimed by the Orang Asli are merely foraging or “roaming” lands with no legal significance.

For more than two decades, the highest courts in Malaysia have recognised the right to Orang Asli foraging lands as a right to property legally protected under the common law and Article 13 of the Federal Constitution (see for example, Adong Bin Kuwau v Kerajaan Negeri Johor [1997]).

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In line with the state government’s fiduciary duty owed to the Orang Asli in respect of their customary land rights (see Kerajaan Negeri Selangor v Sagong Bin Tasi [2005]), the Malaysian Bar strongly urges the Selangor state government to consult with the relevant Orang Asli communities to determine the full extent of their rights within the KLNFR, including common law rights, before considering its power of excision.

Upon such determination, the Malaysian Bar appeals to the Selangor government to reach an equitable resolution to this dispute that does not impinge upon the legal rights of the Orang Asli communities concerned. Failure to do so carries the risks of protracted litigation, expenses and damage to the state’s reputation.

Unfortunately, the KLNFR dispute is again symptomatic of the refusal of the federal and state governments to legally recognise the rights of the Orang Asli to live on and off their ancestral lands.

Accordingly, the Malaysian Bar reiterates its repeated calls for the federal and state governments to do the following:

  • As an interim measure, impose a moratorium on the creation of any land and resource interests and the continuation of resource extraction and enforcement activities within places claimed to be Orang Asli customary areas, pending the resolution of the affected Orang Asli community’s customary territorial claims
  • Implement the 18 recommendations contained in the 2013 Suhakam Report of the National Inquiry into the Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Malaysia
  • In consultation and cooperation with the Orang Asli, take all appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the spirit and intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007

Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor is president of the Malaysian Bar

This piece dated 27 February 2019 is reproduced from here and has been edited for style only.

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nair
nair
12 Mar 2020 10.07am

What happened to Plant more Trees Campaign of Selangor????????. Politicians are worst then chameleons.

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
10 Mar 2020 10.12am

Woldwide rarely there is a government in any country which has given Orang Asli [or Abroginies/natives] there due rights. History shows that almost countries are controlled and thus ruled by people who originally came from other countries and then took controlled of its resources. In some cases the original natives were mostly wiped out and those who survived were treated as helpless ‘babies’ or some kept as ‘tourist’ attractions for their cultural practises. Many may have been assimilated and their identity lost.
Is the condition in Malaysia any different as some State Governments may have been suspected to have encroached on native lands and farmed them out for commercial purposes for the greed of some?