Give us back our NCR lands, Sarawak natives tell state

Source: Malay Mail

SCRIPTS chairman Michael Jok (right) and legal adviser Henry Joseph (left) after handing over the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to the deputy chief minister’s office in Kuching June 22, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

SCRIPTS chairman Michael Jok (right) and legal adviser Henry Joseph (left) after handing over the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to the deputy chief minister’s office in Kuching June 22, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, June 22 — A group of indigenous Sarawakians today handed their demand to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah’s office, asking the state government to revoke provisional leases (PL) issued to plantation and logging companies involving their native customary rights (NCR) lands.

Sarawak Society for the Protection of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (SCRIPTS) chairman Michael Jok said all of the leases were issued to companies linked to current Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud when he was chief minister for 33 years.

“For example, virtually the whole of Baram interior has been issued with PLs when Taib was the chief minister,” Jok told reporters after handing the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to Uggah’s office.

“Based on the submissions from 54 communities in Baram interior which we have received thus far, about 2.8 million hectares of their NCR lands have been leased out by the state government to logging and oil palm companies,” Jok said. Read more

Bina sekatan sebagai bantahan masyarakat Orang Asli

Source: BH Online

KOTA BHARU: Masyarakat Orang Asli, hari ini membina sekatan baharu di tiga lokasi kawasan Hutan Simpan Gunung Stong Selatan di Gua Musang sebagai bantahan terhadap aktiviti pembalakan, projek perladangan dan penanaman durian ‘Musang King’ di daerah itu.

Sekatan itu dibina di Cawas, Gua Cha and Pos Gob.

Pengerusi Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (Jaringan), Mustapa Along, berkata sekatan itu dibuat sebagai bantahan kepada Kerajaan Negeri yang sejak kebelakangan ini banyak mengeluarkan lesen pembalakan, terutama di Cawas.

Read more

What do you know about Orang Asal issues?

Source: The Star Online

Indigenous children clad in their traditional attires. Photos: Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia, drawn from The Star Online.

When the elders in Nelson Raymond’s village heard of plans for a water catchment dam to be built on Sungai Papar in Sabah, many broke down in tears.

The dam would have caused the river’s banks to flood, submerging around 20 villages in the Ulu Papar area, including Raymond’s, and displacing thousands of villagers.

“The elders took it especially hard,” said Raymond, a 28-year-old Dusun media practitioner. “This place has been our home for generations. It’s where we were born and raised. Everything about it, from the forest to the rivers and waterfalls, are all part of our lives.”

But despite the magnitude of the problem, not many people – even those potentially affected – had any inkling of what was to happen. This was back in 2009, when villages like Raymond’s had no phone lines, let alone Internet access. Read more

Educate our kids about the Orang Asli, says anthropologist

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: An anthropologist with 40 years’ experience with the Orang Asli says the education ministry needs to expose urban children to their lifestyle and culture to erase misconceptions still being harboured about them.

Alberto Gomes, a professor at La Trobe University in Australia, said the indigenous people have not gotten the respect they deserve from Malaysians, as they are looked down upon and considered primitive by the mainstream population.

“There are a lot of Orang Asli lawyers and doctors, but the moment they say that they are Orang Asli they are considered inferior,” he told FMT today. Read more

NRD urged to stop alleged ‘paper conversion’ of Sabah villagers to Islam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

It is reported that there are cases of poor and illiterate Dusun and Murut villagers in Sabah who had their religions changed to Islam without their knowledge. — Reuters pic.

It is reported that there are cases of poor and illiterate Dusun and Murut villagers in Sabah who had their religions changed to Islam without their knowledge. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 ― A Momogun group told the National Registration Department (NRD) to stop changing the religious status of poor and illiterate Dusun and Murut villagers in Sabah without their knowledge.

The Borneo Post reported Momogun National Congress (MNC) president Datuk Henrynus Amin as saying that he was deeply disturbed by reports of NRD officials allegedly changing the religious status of Dusun and Murut villagers on paper even though they did not convert.

“There are numerous reports of families facing difficulty due to their religious status as Muslim in their identity card when in fact they are not Muslim. Read more

Art For Grabs: Fifty Shades of Green

Arts4Grab-FiftyShadesOfGreenjpg

Poster artwork by Ronnie Khoo of Ohsum Mossum Terrariums.

WILL OUR PLANET SURVIVE US? Some say yes, but only when humans become extinct. This may become a reality, given the rate at which we are going. So, let’s stop fighting lah over who is the master of the land and let’s give Earth a fighting chance instead.

Joining Jaya One’s Earth Hour programmes, Art For Grabs presents 90 art and activism booths, featuring DIY art & crafts, plus environmental and social causes. Is there more that we can do together beyond saying no to plastic bags and logging? Come meet fellow Malaysians out to save our Earth; one home, one company and one state at a time.

Sponsored by Selangor State Government – Standing Committee of Standing Committee of Tourism, Environment, Green Technology & Consumer Affairs, and Jaya One.

Ps. No plastic bags provided. Bring your own bags. Or buy a nice one here!

Sat 25 & Sun 26 Mar 2017
12pm – 8pm daily
The School, Ground Floor, Jaya One,
Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya

Poster artwork by Ronnie Khoo of Ohsum Mossum Terrariums.

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SATURDAY 25 MARCH

12pm
A BATIK REVOLUTION: SAVE OUR DYEING RIVERS
Forum by Fashion Revolution Malaysia
The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Before purchasing your next batik outfit, it matters for you to know how, where, and who makes the fabric you are buying. Get to know the environmental issues surrounding batik making in Malaysia and the unseen challenges faced by its workers.
Panel:
Fern Chua (Batik Designer)
Maryam Samirah Shamsuddin, Founder of Cotton + Sago
Moderated by: Sasibai Kimis, Country Coordinator of Fashion Revolution Malaysia

1.30pm
MIC FOR GRABS
Art For Grabs very own open mic session for anyone with a poem, a song or a manifesto to share. Get in touch with

3pm
WHOSE FOREST IS IT ANYWAY? THE ORANG ASLI DILEMMA
Forum by Art For Grabs
The Orang Asli says the forests are their homelands. The state says the forests are theirs to finance development. The Forestry Department says they have the rights over forests reserves. The timber companies say they are granted the right to log. What do you say?
Moderated by Colin Nicholas (Centre for Orang Asli Concerns).

5pm
THE FRUITS OF TORTURE
Forum by Amnesty International Malaysia
Torture is not part of any operating procedure in Malaysia neither is it legal. BUT, it still happens. Looking back at how torture is used in Malaysia, this panel addresses how do we Malaysians justify its existence and its usage. More importantly, do WE feel safer because of it?

6.30pm
POETICALLY CORRECT (THE WANITA SHOWCASE)
By If Walls Could Talk – Poetry Open Mic
Marking International Women’s Day this month, witness the powerful voices of Kuala Lumpur’s women spoken word poets. Featuring: Cat Brogan (UK), Afi Noor, Dhabitah Zainal, Anjali Venugopal, Hana Sudradjat,Gwendoline Esther Hay, Meninder Kaur and musical performance byBeverly Matujal. Hosted by Melizarani T. Selva.
https://www.facebook.com/events/770061483157791/

7.30pm
EARTH HOUR PROGRAMME
by Jaya One
Jaya One joins the worldwide movement for the symbolic shutting down of lights for one hour. Featuring Fusion Wayang Kulit, plus celebrity appearances and performances, including Amber Chia, Dennis Yin, Jazel Lim, and Shawn Lee.

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SUNDAY 26 MARCH

12pm
BYE BYE SMELLY GARBAGE, HELLO HAPPY EARTH!
Wynnee’s Home Farm Bokashi Talk and Demonstration
Learn the art of ‘Bokashi’, a Japanese alternative to traditional composting from avid gardener Wynnee Goh. Suitable for apartment dwellers and homes without a backyard, the talk will cover the various ways of preparing Bokashi and what its byproducts can be used for. Participants will also learn how to make their own Bokashi Bin after the talk.
https://www.facebook.com/events/251983281877301/

1.30pm
SAMPAH MENYAMPAH!
Presenting Minahs’ and Ah Chung’s Solutions to Plastic Bag Pollution!
Going green is a lot more than not using plastic bags. Be part of the conversation on how you can start your own campaign and organise your own green initiatives with nothing more than your family, your community, and your collective desire to see some changes around here.
Panel:
#TakNakStraw Campaign founders Carolyn Joan Lau and Mareena Yahya Kerschot
Zero Waste Malaysia administrator Sue Yee Khor
UrbanR Recycle Collection co founder Vincent Chung
Arts practitioner Lorna Henderson Omar
Hosted by: Pang Khee Teik
https://www.facebook.com/events/723235294502591/

3pm
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND HOW TO KNOW THEM
Forum by Projek Dialog
Explore a critical rethinking of human-animal relationships in the Malaysian context, where some of our most biodiverse lands are being destroyed. What are some of our most damaging misconceptions of the human-animal divide? Does religion distort that distinction, in how it always ends up privileging humans over all earthlings?

4.30pm
SAVING THE PLANET: WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT?
Presented by Chevening Talk Series
Any change for the planet has to start small, be it with one individual or organisation. The Chevening Talk Series on Climate Change will explore the bigger picture of the Selangor state government’s green policy and how to integrate ethical eco-friendly practices within companies and individual lives.
Panel:
Her Royal Highness, Princess Zatashah of Selangor
YB Elizabeth Wong, Selangor’s Green Technology and Environment Committee Chairman
Lavanya Iyer, Head of Policy & Climate Change at WWF-Malaysia
Datin Mina Cheah-Foong, Founder of The Body Shop Malaysia
Moderated by Yasmin Rasyid, Founder of EcoKnights
Register to RSVP: bit.ly/ctsmalaysia

6pm
TOXIC FREE SELANGOR: Launch of E-Waste Recycling Programme
By Selangor Environmental Alliance
As part of an ongoing campaign since 2015 to reduce harmful chemicals in the grounds, the Selangor State Government has been supporting initiatives to collect electronic wastes. We welcome you to our latest phase: the Launch of E- Waste Recycling Program, where the public can drop their small e-waste such as light bulbs, batteries, CDs, power adapters, handphones, mouse, keyboards, etc. Come join us for this environmental milestone as the state government shoulders the responsibility together with the rakyat.
Guest of honour: YB Elizabeth Wong.

6.30pm
LET’S TALK ABOUT OUR POLICE
by The Malaysian Bar Council
A total of 242 detainees died in police custody between the year 2000 to 2014 based on SUHAKAM reports. As the Bar Council renews its call for the Government to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, join the discussion as we ask the question: What happens when our law enforcers are found to have broken the law?

In bitter land dispute with state, Suhakam finding offers hope to Tongod settlers

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam officer Heflin DIno (left) speaks to villagers of Kampung Bobotong, Tongod, who are trying to resolve a land dispute or risk losing their land, crops and homes. — Picture courtesy of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Sabah branch, pic drawn from MMO

Suhakam officer Heflin DIno (left) speaks to villagers of Kampung Bobotong, Tongod, who are trying to resolve a land dispute or risk losing their land, crops and homes. — Picture courtesy of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Sabah branch, pic drawn from MMO

KOTA KINABALU, March 24 — A glimmer of hope is in sight for the villagers of Tongod who are on the brink of losing their homes and land deep in the interior of Sabah to the state.

A preliminary report by the Malaysian Commission of Human Rights (Suhakam) found the villagers had filed Land Applications (LA) dating back to 1984, which proved their decades-long occupancy of Tongod, contrary to a recent assertion by the Sabah Forestry Department that non-natives had encroached upon the land in the 1990s for personal gain.

“According to the villagers, as an indigenous people of Tongod, they applied for a Land Application (LA) back in 1984,” said the report.

However, the resolution may not be as clear-cut. The report also noted that Suhakam was informed by the villagers that the Forestry Department does not recognise their LAs. The villagers were also accused of “having a Land Application that is not genuine”.

A standoff is imminent as Sabah Forestry officials have threatened to dismantle the homes of the villagers of Kampung Bobotong within the Sungai Pinangah Forest Reserve. The villagers have refused to budge, claiming they were the first to occupy the land, and have native rights. Read more

PAS leaders only good for felling trees, says Perkasa

Source: FMT News

Ibrahim Ali - Pic from FMT News

Ibrahim Ali – Pic from FMT News

By Aedi Asri

KUALA LUMPUR: Though Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is supportive of PAS’ efforts to empower the shariah courts, he is critical of the way the PAS-led Kelantan government has handled the issue of logging in Gua Musang.

“Good that PAS has Islam in its name but it has stupid leaders who only know how to chop down trees.

“I’m not pointing at any PAS leader in particular, but I’m disappointed,” he said in a press conference at the Perkasa headquarters here yesterday.

Ibrahim was referring to the Kelantan government’s logging activities in Gua Musang which had led to a standoff with the Orang Asli, who claimed their way of life and their livelihoods were increasingly threatened by deforestation.

Since September last year, the Orang Asli have built illegal barricades around the Balah permanent forest reserve to prevent transportation of timber. 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

Ibarat pikul batu berat di kepala, kata Orang Asli

Sumber: FMT News

Gambar seorang gadis OA di sumber air, dipetik dari FMT News.

Gambar seorang gadis OA di sumber air, dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Ibarat pikul batu berat di kepala, begitu kata Setiausaha Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) Jamali Ayu ketika ditanya mengenai nasib masyarakatnya hari ini.
Bukan sahaja isu tanah adat gagal diselesaikan secara berkesan, kurang daripada 50% Orang Asli di Kelantan mendapat kemudahan asas yang sempurna seperti bekalan air bersih, elektrik, jalan raya dan rumah.

“Bekalan air tidak ada manfaat kerana air semua keruh. Sehingga kini Orang Asli masih lagi minum air keruh, bekalan air paip pun tak ada,” kata Jamali ketika ditemui FMT.

JKOAK mewakili lebih 13,000 Orang Asli di Kelantan. Jaringan itu turut sama bersolidariti bersama masyarakat Orang Asli Gua Musang baru-baru ini yang cuba menghalang kemasukan pembalak ke kawasan yang dikatakan tanah adat mereka.

Menurut Jamali, isunya sama ada janji tidak ditunaikan, atau ia tidak seperti yang diharapkan.

“Walaupun Kerajaan Persekutuan bagi loji air baru-baru ini tetapi tak berfungsi. Sekadar hiasan untuk Orang Asli.

“Jalan juga tidak ada. Yang ada hanya jalan untuk kegunaan pembalak. Bila projek balak habis jalan tersebut tidak ada pembaharuan.

“Mereka bina jalan untuk pembalak, bukannya untuk Orang Asli,” katanya. Read more