Pahang biker teacher rides into hearts of social media users

Source: New Strait Times

eacher Ahmad Saidin Mohd Idris has literally become an overnight internet sensation after an article about him riding his motorcycle 135km daily to teach at SK Lenjang, Lipis, was published online yesterday. Pix by Nazirul Roselan for the Star.

KUANTAN: Teacher Ahmad Saidin Mohd Idris has literally become an overnight internet sensation after an article about him riding his motorcycle 135km daily to teach at SK Lenjang, Lipis, was published online yesterday.

Netizens from all walks of life were abuzz on social media, posting heart-warming messages – with many calling Ahmad Saidin a hero for overcoming great adversity to fulfill his responsibilities to teach his 400-odd Orang Asli pupils at the school.

Some were even prepared to go the extra mile and organise a fundraising campaign to assist the 40-year-old to travel using a much safer mode of transport and reduce his burden of paying for patrol.

However, the down-to-earth father-of-two said he would prefer that his well-wishers assist the Orang Asli pupils by providing aid to help them, rather than using it for him.

“I enjoy teaching here and am happy with what I am doing. Instead, it would be good if people can assist the Orang Asli children and I am sure they would be grateful. Read more

Retrenchment fund focus of May Day rally by 15 NGOs, PSM

Source: FMT News

Authorities must address issues faced by workers who have lost their jobs due to companies going bankrupt, relocation or even the government's budget cuts, says group. Pic from FMT News.

Authorities must address issues faced by workers who have lost their jobs due to companies going bankrupt, relocation or even the government’s budget cuts, says group. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: A peaceful rally will be held on May 1, in conjunction with International Workers’s Day, which is also known as Labour Day, demanding the government start a fund for the benefit of workers who have been retrenched.

The organising committee comprising 15 NGOs and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) held a press conference today announcing the assembly, which is called “Hilang Kerja, Pekerja Merana: Worker’s Retrenchment Fund Now!”

The key demand for the establishment of a workers retrenchment fund is to address issues faced by workers who have lost their jobs due to companies going bankrupt, relocation or even budget cuts by the government. Read more

Suhakam to conduct field investigation

Source: Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) will conduct a field investigation on the reported demolition of indigenous communities’ houses in Kg Bobotong, Tongod, by the Sabah Forestry Department.

The commission’s investigating officer of the case, Heflin Dino, said the investigation will be conducted based on Act 597 of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 4(1) that clearly states its duty “to inquire into complaints regarding infringements of human rights referred to in Section 12” of the Act.

Pending the field investigation, Heflin appealed to all parties to remain calm.

“I do hope that the public would not fuel hate sentiments toward parties until we complete the investigation,” he told Daily Express, Monday.

More than 200 villagers of the village in Mukim Entilibon claimed to be living in fear after 16 out of 60 houses were demolished by the department on March 16.

They claimed to have been living in the village for 38 years. Read more

Suhakam: Govt must uphold rights of Orang Asli, refugees

Source: FMT News

Human rights group chief Razali Ismail criticises those who deny Orang Asli control over their own lands and development based on their own values. Pic form FMT News.

Human rights group chief Razali Ismail criticises those who deny Orang Asli control over their own lands and development based on their own values. Pic form FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) says equality must be upheld in the country, especially for minorities such as the Orang Asli and refugee communities.

Suhakam chairman Razali Ismail said poverty and vulnerability continue to threaten the Orang Asli despite a clear ruling from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination classifying discrimination against indigenous people as racial discrimination.

He added that they faced many challenges and that despite government efforts, their human rights were frequently violated.

“The Orang Asli are denied control over their own lands and development based on their own values.

“They have also been the victims of forced displacement due to uncontrolled logging,” he said in a statement released in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today. Read more

Demolition of Orang Asli homes in Sabah condemned

Source: FMT News

JOAS calls on Forestry Department to stop evicting tribespeople across Malaysia and to engage constructively with the indigenous people struggling to protect their traditional homes in the forests. Pic from FMT News.

JOAS calls on Forestry Department to stop evicting tribespeople across Malaysia and to engage constructively with the indigenous people struggling to protect their traditional homes in the forests. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) has called on the Forestry Department to engage meaningfully with indigenous communities across Malaysia instead of resorting to aggressive measures, such as evicting tribes and blocking efforts to protect traditional lands in forests.

The NGO, which focuses on native welfare in the country, said this in condemning the demolition of houses belonging to the Dusun Kiulu people in Tongod, Sabah, on March 17.

“The Dusun Kiulu community are now left homeless by the brutal act,” Juhaidi Marindal, vice-president of JOAS’ Sabah chapter, said in a statement today.

He said the department had accused the villagers of Kampung Bobotong of encroaching onto forest reserve land.

“The Dusun Kiulu have been living in the area well before the area was gazetted as forest reserve land, and they have planted fruit trees and oil palm in the area to earn a living,” he said. Read more

The politics of native titles in Sarawak — James Chin

Source: New Mandala

AN 19TH CENTURY PRINT OF A DAYAK VILLAGE. IMAGE: BRITISH LIBRARY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

AN 19TH CENTURY PRINT OF A DAYAK VILLAGE. IMAGE: BRITISH LIBRARY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

Political malaise and self-serving leaders have left the indigenous Dayak people on shaky ground when it comes to land claims, writes James Chin.

On 7 January, Dayak “intellectuals” gathered in Pending, on the outskirts of Kuching, the capital of Sarawak state in Malaysia, to discuss the issue of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land, more commonly called native titles.

The meeting was hastily organised because Malaysia’s Federal Court overturned a lower court’s decision and ruled that ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserve) and ‘pemakai menoa’ (territorial domain) do not have the force of law. The ruling, in practice, meant most of the native title claims in Sarawak will not win their court challenge against the state for recognition of their NCR title.

What is NCR in Sarawak?
NCR, culturally, is widely understood in Sarawak as land belonging to the indigenous peoples of where there is no title issued. Under the Adat (customary law), NCR land has three components; ‘temuda’, ‘pulau galau’ (PG) and ‘pemakai menoa’ (PM). ‘Termuda’ refers to cultivated or farmed areas. PM and PG lie beyond the ‘Termuda’.

PG is usually understood to be a reserved area kept for communal use while PM is an area used for hunting and foraging by the Dayak community, and hence is usually much larger than the PG and Termuda. Read more

Activists: US report on Orang Asli land rights too shallow

Source: FMT News

Siti Kasim says Washington’s annual human rights report is an outdated view of Orang Asli land rights issue, adding that the report bases its argument on a simplistic interpretation of the statute law. Pic from FMT News.

Siti Kasim says Washington’s annual human rights report is an outdated view of Orang Asli land rights issue, adding that the report bases its argument on a simplistic interpretation of the statute law. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Washington’s annual human rights report does not adequately address issues surrounding Orang Asli rights in the country, several Orang Asli activists have said.

Activist-cum-lawyer Siti Kasim pointed out that the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 was too shallow as it merely interpreted the Orang Asli land rights issue in a “simplistic manner”.

“It’s partially correct if one were to solely focus on written law. But it’s an outdated view on Orang Asli land rights, based on a simplistic interpretation of the statute law,” she told FMT when contacted. Read more

Why the Orang Asli blockade in Kelantan matters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A small group of 15 people gather outside the national headquarters of PAS on Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur tonight to express solidarity with the native Temiar people of Gua Musang, Kelantan, November 30, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

A small group of 15 people gather outside the national headquarters of PAS on Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur tonight to express solidarity with the native Temiar people of Gua Musang, Kelantan, November 30, 2016. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — For many within the Temiar Orang Asli community, the forest in Gua Musang, Kelantan represents much more than just a place to call home.

It is where they seek shelter, hunt for food as well bury their dead, and they have been doing so for centuries without any incident. In return, they do their part and abide by strict ceremonial customs to safeguard and preserve the forest as well as the creatures that live in it.

But all this is rapidly changing, due to the aggressive deforestation by developers and which is sanctioned by the PAS-led Kelantan government. Logging is the main source of income for the one of Malaysia’s poorest states, so it is unlikely that their position on the matter will change anytime soon.

A new documentary titled Fighting for My Home for Channel News Asia’s Get Real programme has shed some new insight into the matter, as the affected Temiar community speak up on why they continue to stand by their blockade efforts to save the forest.  [Admin.: The video links appear at the end of this post] Read more

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