A blow to indigenous rights — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

A RECENT majority Federal Court decision dealt a fatal blow to the customary rights of indigenous peoples to freely access the forest for food, medicines and such like.

Such a right has existed since time immemorial as universally recognised. Indeed the immense contribution of traditional knowledge associated with the forest resources to modern medicine has been acknowledged by the World Health Organisation.

In the Bakun Dam case the Appeals Court pronounced that the forest provided the sustenance of life for indigenous peoples.

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Loggers lose bid to tear down orang asli blockade

Source: The Star Online

Photo credit: Siti Kasim. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Photo credit: Siti Kasim. Pic taken from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: The Gua Musang magistrate’s court has rejected a logging company’s application to tear down the orang asli blockade there in what is a significant legal victory for the orang asli community protesting against logging there.

Lawyer Siti Kasim, who represented the orang asli said that the logging company, Jajaran Wawasan Enterprise, made an application under Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code over land in Pos Balar.

“The court rejected their application. The court believes that the orang asli are the ones with the rightful occupation and actual possession of the land,” said Siti.

Section 99 allows for the courts to declare a party to be entitled to retain possession of property, in this case the land, if there was a dispute over it by different parties in terms of who was in actual possession of it.

One party applies to be declared in actual possession while the other parties attempt to disprove their claim in court, after which the court makes its decision.

“Actual possession is when you are in occupation of the land. You are in control of the land. You live there,” explained Siti.

While this decision only applies to a portion of the land the orang asli are claiming in the Balah forest reserve, Siti said it set the precedent for the orang asli to use against the other logging companies operating there. Read more

Tanah adat Orang Asli di Ledang sebenarnya hutan simpan

Sumber: FMT News

JOHOR BAHRU: Kawasan yang didakwa sebagai tanah adat Orang Asli di Ledang, dekat sini baru-baru ini, merupakan tanah rizab yang diwartakan sebagai Hutan Simpan Gunung Ledang.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kesihatan dan Alam Sekitar negeri Datuk Ayub Rahmat berkata pewartaan tanah seluas 9,052.8 hektar itu dilakukan pada 6 Mac 1940 mengikut Warta Kerajaan Negeri Johor Bil. 298.

“Kawasan ini juga dirizabkan sebagai Taman Negara Johor di bawah Seksyen 3(1) Enakmen Perbadanan Taman Negara (Johor) 1989 dan diterbitkan dalam Warta Kerajaan Negeri Johor Bil. 2622 bertarikh 27 Oktober 2005, yang diletakkan di bawah jagaan Pengarah Perbadanan Taman Negara Johor dan penggantinya,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan di sini hari ini.

Kenyataan itu susulan writ saman difailkan oleh Tok Batin Kampung Tanah Gembur, Jengkeng Jani dan Kampung Sungai Air Tawas, Meghek Acai, mewakili penduduk Orang Asli daerah Tangkak pada 10 Januari lalu yang menuntut hak milik tanah adat dalam kawasan rizab berkenaan. Read more

Orang Asli sue Johor government over projects on ancestral land

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Picture shows the highway to Ledang district, Johor. — Google Maps screenshot, taken from MMO

Picture shows the highway to Ledang district, Johor. — Google Maps screenshot, taken from MMO

JOHOR BARU, Jan 10 — A total of 504 Orang Asli from Kampung Sungai Air Tawas and Tanah Gembur in Ledang today filed a suit against the Johor government and three others to challenge projects being carried out an area which they claimed to be their ancestral land since last November.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Joint-Chairmen of the Ledang Orang Asli Action Committee, Jengkeng Jani, 69, and Mengkek Achai, 56, filed the suit at the Civil High Court registry here through their lawyer Nur Hannan Ishak.

Besides the Johor government, the three other defendants named in the suit are project contractor Zila Maju Enterprise; Johor National Park Corporation Director and the Malaysian government. Read more

Rights of the natives — Tricia Yeoh

Source: The Sun Daily

A group of Orang Asli block a road in Kampung Sungai Peralong, Gua Musang to protest against timber logging activities in the area on Oct 29, 2016. — Bernama

A group of Orang Asli block a road in Kampung Sungai Peralong, Gua Musang to protest against timber logging activities in the area on Oct 29, 2016. — Bernama

A VIDEO went viral at the end of November on social media, portraying the Temiar Orang Asli community singing Negaraku as the blockade they had set up to protest logging at a forest reserve in Gua Musang in September was destroyed. Several orang asli villagers were also detained as a result of the incident.

This particular action was ordered by the Kelantan State Forestry Department, while a representative of the Kelantan state government stated that all logging activities in Kelantan since 1978 had complied with the law and urged all parties to comply with set regulations.

The orang asli in Malaysia despite being natives and therefore technically part of the bumiputra community have, unfortunately, not quite benefited from the country’s affirmative action policies. A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2014 report revealed that almost 34% of orang asli households live in poverty, this despite official country figures that say 0.6% of the population live below the national poverty line. Why the disenfranchised community? Has the government not paid enough attention to their woes? Read more

Malaysia: the Murut struggle against palm oil, for land and life — Sophie Chao

Source: The Ecologist

Supported by state and national governments, palm oil plantations are advancing over the rainforest hills of Sabah, Malaysia, writes Sophie Chao. In their way: the indigenous Murut of Bigor, whose culture, livelihood and very lives are under threat as forests and farms fall to chainsaws and bulldozers, enriching loggers and distant investors beyond the dreams of avarice.

We must continue to fight, for our children need to eat, and our grandchildren need to know what is a forest, and what is the way of life of the Murut people who came before them, and who will come after them.

Bigor longhouse with land cleared for oil palm in the background. Photo: Sophie Chao.

Bigor longhouse with land cleared for oil palm in the background. Photo: Sophie Chao.

In the remote village of Bigor, about 250 kilometers southwest of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah, local community members gather in the longhouse (rumah panjang in Malay language), the traditional dwelling of the indigenous Murut people.

Slumped in his wheelchair, a makeshift sling supporting his right arm, the dying light of dusk casting shadows over his diminished frame, Statly Bin Ampihang (see photo), a 48 year old indigenous Murut Tagol man and head of Bigor village, tells the story of a tsunami.

“The oil palm company arrived, and made us sign contracts that we did not understand. They told us they would help us – make our lives better, give us jobs, increase our welfare. The government told us that the laws would help us secure our customary lands and forests.”

“Instead we were hit by a tsunami. But this tsunami was not a natural disaster. It was caused by our government. And now our lands are oil palm plantations. We have nowhere to hunt anymore. We have nowhere to plant our crops. Our economy has been destroyed. We are disappointed, for we have been deceived by our government.” Read more

Orang Asli ada hak atas tanah adat

Sumber: FMT News

Menduduki tanah untuk selama beberapa generasi ialah tanggapan kuat dan hampir tidak boleh disangkal yang mereka memegang hak itu, kata bekas hakim Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

Menduduki tanah untuk selama beberapa generasi ialah tanggapan kuat dan hampir tidak boleh disangkal yang mereka memegang hak itu, kata bekas hakim Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Orang Asli di semenanjung mempunyai hak undang-undang terhadap tanah adat mereka, kata hakim bersara Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.

“Mereka boleh memperoleh hak milik adat tanah itu hanya dengan menyemai, memburu, mengutip hasil hutan dan tinggal di situ,” katanya.

Sri Ram berkata mereka tidak perlu mengeluarkan hak kepada tanah, seperti pemilik .

“Menduduki tanah itu untuk beberapa generasi ialah tanggapan kuat dan hampir tidak boleh disangkal yang mereka memegang hak itu,” katanya.

Hakim bersara Mahkamah Persekutuan itu berkata demikian sebagai respons kepada laporan aktivis Orang Asli ditahan kerana mendirikan sekatan di kawasan hutan simpan di Gua Musang, Kelantan. Read more

Suhakam gesa perlindungan hak asasi manusia lebih baik

Sumber: FMT News

Suhakam menegur penyalahgunaan Sosma dan penderitaan dihadapi Orang Asli di Gua Musang sebagai contoh pelanggaran hak asasi manusia.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail -- gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail — gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Hak asasi manusia perlu menjadi teras pembangunan negara Malaysia jika kerajaan menyasarkan untuk mencapai status negara maju menjelang 2020, kata Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam).

Pengerusinya Tan Sri Razali Ismail berkata, walaupun 2016 menyaksikan beberapa kemajuan dalam aspek perlindungan hak asasi manusia di negara ini, masih terdapat pelanggaran yang perlu diakui dan ditangani.

Ini termasuk salah guna undang-undang keselamatan, khususnya Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012 (Sosma) yang digunakan untuk menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan perbezaan pendapat politik.

“Individu tidak boleh ditangkap dan ditahan kerana melaksanakan hak mereka terhadap kebebasan bersuara,” kata Razali dalam satu kenyataan hari ini. Read more

Tindakan kapitalis kerajaan Kelantan, aniaya Orang Asli — Ishak Sairozi

Sumber: FMT News

Oleh Ishak Sairozi

More than 200 Orang Asli from villages around Gua Musang come to support those who have been arrested, urging police to release them. Pic taken from FMT News

More than 200 Orang Asli from villages around Gua Musang come to support those who have been arrested, urging police to release them. Pic taken from FMT News

Ketika Syria dibom, Rohingya dibakar hidup-hidup, seluruh rakyat Malaysia, daripada pucuk pimpinan hingga golongan marhaen, menzahirkan keprihatinan sebagai saudara seagama yang bersahabat di dunia, bersaudara di syurga.

Begitu juga ketika Paris meledak apabila tembakan rambang dilepaskan di bar. Seluruh dunia menunjukkan keprihatinan mereka dengan mengutus doa dan mengecam pelaku, menolak keganasan dengan menggunakan alasan kemanusiaan.

Ketika Harambe (seekor gorila yang terpaksa ditembak mati bagi menyelamatkan seorang kanak-kanak yang terjatuh di dalam kurungannya) dibunuh, keprihatinan dunia seolah-olah menunjukkan kemanusiaan itu masih segar di bumi pelbagai bangsa ini.

Bagaimanapun, sangkaan itu meleset apabila berlaku tragedi di Kelantan yang melibatkan kaum Orang Asli. Hak sebagai warganegara dan manusia dicerobohi.

Kisah yang diceritakan mungkin tidak jelas kerana dikaburi media dan pemanipulasi cerita. Tetapi secara ringkasnya, kita langsung tidak kisah tentang apa yang terjadi terhadap mereka yang juga rakyat Malaysia.

Kisah yang terjadi di Kelantan ini bukannya baharu wujud 2-3 hari lalu. Kisah balak ini sudah bertahun-tahun. Read more

Rakaman udara bukti penggondolan ‘tanah adat’ Orang Asli

Sumber: FMT News

FMT diberitahu lebih 80% aktiviti pembalakan dilakukan berhampiran penempatan Orang Asli dan menjejaskan kehidupan 13,000 rakyat di 17 pos. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

FMT diberitahu lebih 80% aktiviti pembalakan dilakukan berhampiran penempatan Orang Asli dan menjejaskan kehidupan 13,000 rakyat di 17 pos. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

GUA MUSANG: Rakaman udara yang meninjau kesan pembalakan di sekitar kawasan Hutan Simpan Kekal Balah di Gua Musang nampaknya tidak menyebelahi kerajaan Kelantan, yang mendakwa aktiviti dijalankan mengikut tatacara operasi standard.

FMT diberitahu lebih 80% aktiviti pembalakan dilakukan berhampiran penempatan Orang Asli. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) mendakwa skala pembalakan di kawasan terbabit memberi kesan kepada kira-kira 13,000 orang dan melibatkan 17 pos Orang Asli.

Video daripada Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) menunjukkan banyak bukit-bukau yang gondol, dengan pokok yang ditebang dilonggokkan di satu tempat.

Rakaman juga menunjukkan banyak laluan keluar masuk dibina ke kawasan pembalakan, yang terletak lebih 2 jam perjalanan dari bandar Gua Musang.

Orang Asli yang terkesan mendakwa aktiviti pembalakan sudah mencemari sumber kehidupan mereka.

Menurut seorang Orang Asli, Mohd Nasir Dollah, kawasan yang digondol itu dahulunya tempat Orang Asli bercucuk tanam. “Kawasan yang digondol juga dikatakan digunakan pihak berkepentingan untuk membina ladang rakyat.”

Kerajaan negeri bagaimanapun berkata pembalakan sudah dirundingkan dengan penghulu-penghulu di kawasan yang berkenaan, manakala pimpinan PAS mendakwa Orang Asli terbabit dihasut pihak tertentu.

Dakwaan itu dinafikan oleh Orang Asli dan badan bukan kerajaan. Read more