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

Custodial death: Police behaviour ‘reprehensible and unconstitutional’

Source: Aliran

Prema Devaraj wonders how effective efforts have been in halting custodial deaths or bringing about accountability in custodial deaths.

By all accounts, it was an avoidable death. It is just that neither the IO (investigating officer) nor the police personnel bothered to take the necessary steps to send the deceased to hospital. If this is not behaviour which is reprehensible and unconstitutional, then I do not know what is…

Strong words from Justice S Nantha Balan in reference to the negligence of certain police officers in not providing timely medical assistance to Mr P Chandran, which resulted in his death four years ago when he was in the police lock-up in Dang Wangi. Read more

Stop hurting Rohingyas, Myanmar told

Source: The Star

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

Newly arrived and long-term Rohingya refugees close to the Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District, Southeastern Bangladesh, Nov 21, 2016. Source: Amnesty International

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minis­ters of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will ask Myan-mar to stop its campaign of violence and hate against the persecuted Rohingya community during its emergency meeting here on Thurs­day.

The OIC’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the meeting, initiated by Malay­sia, will also request that Myan­mar allow unconditional access to all parties, including the OIC, to channel aid to the community.

“This meeting will help keep the Rohingya issue in focus at the international level as it is very serious when there are allegations of crimes against humanity, of ethnic cleansing.

“We want Myanmar to stop all the military operations, hate campaign and encouraging violence against the community,” he said.

Syed Hamid, a former foreign minister, said the OIC has responded well to the strong position Malaysia has taken on the issue based on humanitarian concerns. Read more

The Kelantan floodgate: Part II — Isham Jalil

Source: NST Online

BY ISHAM JALIL

NST file pix -- A villager evacuating her home in Rantau Panjang early January 2017. In the two recent floods in Kelantan, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and homes were destroyed. Bernama Photo, taken from NST Online.

NST file pix — A villager evacuating her home in Rantau Panjang early January 2017. In the two recent floods in Kelantan, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and homes were destroyed. Bernama Photo, taken from NST Online.

THE Kelantan government is still in denial that logging and land-clearing activities have caused or worsened floods, even after the 2014 flood, which was the worst the country has ever seen in almost half a century.

The state authority reiterated that logging did not cause the floods but rain did, and that the floodwaters did not come from the logging areas, but from the national park. Unfortunately, pivoting the rhetoric isn’t going to solve the problem, nor does it relieve the suffering of Kelantan people affected by the floods each year.

Despite the denial, several experts from various fields, including meteorology, forestry and sustainable development, have highlighted overwhelming evidence linking land clearing and worsening floods in Kelantan — such as alluvial deposits as far as 1,000m from riverbanks seen post-flood, formation of acres of sandbars in Sungai Kelantan due to accelerated erosion upstream, and countless satellite images showing soil erosion from cleared forest.

The United Nations has stated that deforestation may be one of the principal causes of severe flooding. This is evidenced by the floods in Bangladesh in 1998, Haiti in 2004 and Mexico in 2007.

Experts say soil eroded from cleared land flows into adjacent rivers, causing siltation and shallowing of the riverbeds, hence, worsening the flood. Read more