Aliran condemns the arrests of three Temiar Orang Asli: Johari Aleju, Pam Yeek and Shukri Man.
We understand that they were arrested for defending the blockade that had been set up to prevent loggers from encroaching into Orang Asli ancestral lands. The blockade at Kampung Sungai Papan/Air Laba in Gerik in Perak has since been demolished.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (in charge of Orang Asli affairs) P Waytha Moorthy had earlier requested the police to be sympathetic to the plight of the Orang Asli and not to take sides in the dispute over the boundaries of Orang Asli ancestral lands.
He was reported as pointing out the lack of understanding among various quarters of the provisions in the Constitution and decided case laws which favour the rights of the Orang Asli community over their ancestral lands.
The minister reiterated that until the boundaries of Orang Asli ancestral lands were officially determined, the issuing of permits for logging or development on these lands would be contravening the law.
Aliran calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the three detained Temiar Orang Asli.
We also call upon Inspector General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador and Perak police chief Razarudin Husain to respect and recognise the rights of the Temiar Orang Asli and ensure they are accorded due protection.
We urge the police not to allow any logging or development activities to be carried out until the dispute over the boundaries of Orang Asli ancestral lands is resolved.
Aliran executive committee
23 July 2019