KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The Mah Meri Orang Asli will lose not only their ancestral homes but their age-old lifestyle on Carey Island if the federal government goes ahead with plans to build a mega port city there.
In a report today, Al Jazeera pointed out that the indigenous Mah Meri have a very close relationship with their ancestral land and the natives were upset that they may be relocated due to the port project.
“It’s not that fair… if they want to take, they will take. There is no land title or grant,” one of the tribesmen identified by a single name, Kemi, told the Qatari broadcaster.
Rashid Esa who manages the Mah Meri Cultural Village on the island, said the island was home and that it meant everything to the indigenous people.
“Their environment, their surroundings, this is their life… (Mah Meri) are unique people. They are not from our time, really,” he was quoted as saying.
The resistance to the Carey Island port proposal was not limited to the older generation. Sazrin Gali, 15, was also reported saying that he will fight for the island if it was taken away from him.
“I will resist… this is the land where I was born. Everyone will protest,” Sazrin was quoted as saying. Read more