Documentary maker: Kelantan Forestry offered to settle case with RM1k fine

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Over 200 Orang Asli had put up a blockade at the Balah Forest Reserve in Gua Musang since September 26 to prevent logs from being taken out from the area. — Bernama pic

Over 200 Orang Asli had put up a blockade at the Balah Forest Reserve in Gua Musang since September 26 to prevent logs from being taken out from the area. — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, Feb 27 — The Kelantan Forestry Department offered to drop a case against two journalists if they agree to plead guilty and pay a RM1,000 fine, documentary maker Jules Rahman Ong claimed today.

Ong and his cameraman colleague Too Chee Hung were arrested last month by state forestry officers while shooting a documentary on the plight of Orang Asli villagers defending their homes in forest reserves in Gua Musang.

Speaking to reporters here, Ong said the offer was made last Friday.

He also said the Forestry Department’s investigative officer in charge of the duo’s case had informed them that the investigation papers on their case have yet to be sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

“(He) kind of persuaded us to just settle it out of court and pay the fine and plead guilty.

“In fact we told him if you have done your investigation and you are going to see the DPP, if that is the procedure, then go ahead,” he said, using the abbreviation for deputy public prosecutor.

He said the duo will not be paying the RM1,000 fine and will instead wait for the AGC to decided whether or not to press charges against them.

“To do that (pay the fine), I feel like I’ll be sending a message that it is ok for the government to curtail our rights to access of information. Read more

Orang asli seek Suhakam inquiry over encroachment

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Temiar orang asli of Gua Musang have applied to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to conduct an enquiry into the Kelantan government over the encroachment of the contentious forest.

The Kelantan Network of Orang Asli Villages committee member Maya Bah Said said the move was aimed at stopping the encroachment into their customary land and the granting of temporary occupation licences and state leases to various companies, including loggers.

He said that the encroachments dating back to 2000 were now just metres away from their villages and polluting their water reserves.

The group also sought a moratorium on logging in the Balah forest reserve pending resolution of the enquiry. Read more

Ruckus again at Gua Musang Authorities break Temiar blockades, held journalists released

Source: The Star Online

Freed: Forest officers released Too (left) and Ong from the department’s office in Gua Musang. Pic form the Star Online.

Freed: Forest officers released Too (left) and Ong from the department’s office in Gua Musang. Pic from the Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: After a brief lull, the controversy surrounding the anti-logging blockades set up by the Temiar orang asli near Gua Musang has flared up again.

The latest direct confrontation between the opposing sides followed a major operation by the Kelantan Forestry Department, which dismantled two barricades in the Balah forest reserve – one in Simpang Petei on Monday and another in Matau Cawas near Pos Bihai yesterday.

At the Matau Cawas blockade, the department’s enforcement officers arrested two freelance journalists, Ong Ju Lim, 46, and Too Chee Hung, 36, as well as 16 orang asli.

The orang asli were later released at the blockade site while Ong and Too were taken to the department’s office in Gua Musang.

According to a statement from Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia, Ong had been engaged by the news agency to produce a documentary on deforestation in Kelantan. 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

Come see why we put up blockades, Orang Asli group tells Kelantan MB (VIDEO)

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Over 200 Orang Asli had put up a blockade at the Balah Forest Reserve in Gua Musang since September 26 to prevent logs from being taken out from the area. — Bernama pic

Over 200 Orang Asli had put up a blockade at the Balah Forest Reserve in Gua Musang since September 26 to prevent logs from being taken out from the area. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 ― A group in support of the indigenous people, who have been defending a forest reserve in Gua Musang from logging activity for over two months now, has called on Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob to visit the area to find out its exact situation.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) chairman Tijah Yok Chopil said Ahmad should have firsthand experience in viewing the results of logging activities in the area and the reason why locals were putting up blockades to prevent further deforestation at the forest reserve.

“The blockades are set up because the forest is on the verge of being destroyed…[and besides] it is proven that the effects of extensive logging has caused a massive flood in Kelantan in 2014, resulting in destroying of properties of the Orang Asli community and the people of Kelantan.

“Is the Kelantan government still refusing to accept this fact? Is money from logging activity more important than the plight of the people?” Tijah said in a statement. Read more

C4 kutuk ‘taktik kekerasan’ penahanan Orang Asli

Sumber: FMT News

Pertubuhan C4 menyelar kerajaan negeri Kelantan kerana menangkap Orang Asli di Guan Musang hanya kerana masyarakat itu mempertahankan tanah adat mereka. Gambar FMT News.

Pertubuhan C4 menyelar kerajaan negeri Kelantan kerana menangkap Orang Asli di Guan Musang hanya kerana masyarakat itu mempertahankan tanah adat mereka. Gambar FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: NGO Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center) mengutuk tindakan pihak berkuasa yang menahan 40 pemimpin Orang Asli yang mempertahankan sekatan di tanah adat mereka di Simpang Petei berhampiran Pos Gob, Betau Cawas dekat Pos Bihai dan Kelawong di Pos Pasik.

Pengarah C4 Cynthia Gabriel berkata Timbalan Menteri Besar Kelantan Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah sebelum ini sendiri berjanji akan ke tempat sekatan itu bagi berbincang lanjut isu berkenaan dengan masyarakat Orang Asli.

Namun, perjumpaan itu tidak pernah diadakan dan pihak berkuasa menggunakan “taktik kekerasan” dalam menangani bantahan masyarakat Orang Asli itu.

Dalam satu kenyataan dikeluarkan hari ini, Gabriel berkata C4 bekerjasama rapat dengan masyarakat itu dan berusaha membawa pegawai ke Gua Musang untuk mendengar rintihan Orang Asli. Read more