BlocksToBlock Gua Musang Exhibition

To raise awareness and funds for the oppressed Orang Asli Temiar of Gua Musang, there will be a building of a symbolic ‘blockade’ at the Ground Floor of Publika. A piece made of over a hundred unique artworks drawn or printed on blocks.

HELP SAVE A FOREST, AND A PEOPLE.
BE PART OF THE BLOCKADE

You can be part of the fight for Orang Asli land rights just by buying a block. Proceeds go towards food or vital supplies for displaced Orang Temiar and rehabilitation of destroyed homes.

(Note: all purchases count as donations, meaning they are tax-deductible!)

JOIN THEM IN A STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY

#BlocksToBlock Gua Musang’ runs 23 – 29 April 2018 at the Publika Concourse (G2). Please help us spread the word! We — and the besieged Orang Temiar — thank you.

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

Suhakam gesa perlindungan hak asasi manusia lebih baik

Sumber: FMT News

Suhakam menegur penyalahgunaan Sosma dan penderitaan dihadapi Orang Asli di Gua Musang sebagai contoh pelanggaran hak asasi manusia.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail -- gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail — gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Hak asasi manusia perlu menjadi teras pembangunan negara Malaysia jika kerajaan menyasarkan untuk mencapai status negara maju menjelang 2020, kata Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam).

Pengerusinya Tan Sri Razali Ismail berkata, walaupun 2016 menyaksikan beberapa kemajuan dalam aspek perlindungan hak asasi manusia di negara ini, masih terdapat pelanggaran yang perlu diakui dan ditangani.

Ini termasuk salah guna undang-undang keselamatan, khususnya Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012 (Sosma) yang digunakan untuk menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan perbezaan pendapat politik.

“Individu tidak boleh ditangkap dan ditahan kerana melaksanakan hak mereka terhadap kebebasan bersuara,” kata Razali dalam satu kenyataan hari ini. Read more

Bar wants a stop to oppression against Temiar, Rohingyas

Source: FMT News

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar, in reference to the Temiar in Gua Musang and Rohingyas in Myanmar, said repressive state action against marginalised communities must stop.

“The Bar stands with the Temiar and the Rohingyas in their efforts to seek protection of their fundamental human right to livelihood and life,” president Steven Thiru said.

In a statement issued this eveninig, he said the Bar would continue to work and advocate for a peaceful and just resolution of these conflicts.

Steven said the federal and Kelantan governments must immediately stop their actions to dispossess the Temiar of their ancestral land and to halt the arrests of Orang Asli.

During enforcement operations conducted on Nov 29, the Forestry Department dismantled and destroyed the blockades erected by the Orang Asli in a peaceful protest against encroachment.

Forty-seven Orang Asli were detained.

Steven said the Temiar had to defend their native customary lands from the ever-widening encroachment and from environmental degradation. Read more

Orang Asli arrests at Gua Musang a shocking abuse of power and breach of human and land rights — Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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

DECEMBER 2 — BERSIH 2.0 strongly condemns the arrests and continued harassment and intimidation of Orang Asli activists for constructing blockades at Gua Musang to defend their ancestral land from further destruction and pillage.

The Kelantan Forestry Department, in collusion with unscrupulous logging companies, have seriously overstepped their powers by taking action against the Orang Asli activists. The arrests, harassment, and intimidation are punitive actions taken against the activists for protecting land that rightfully belongs to them

The Orang Asli should not and must not be punished for exercising their right to dissent by expressing their anger and rejection against rampant logging that is threatening their fundamental right to life. 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

Orang asli sending message to loggers that they are here to stay

Source: The Star Online

GUA MUSANG: Up on a hill not far from the Perak-Kelantan border, orang asli men are watching a sepak takraw game.

A net separating the two teams is tied to poles of makeshift huts on opposite sides of a dirt road.

A group of other men – some standing on the road, others in the huts – watch the game, while two children are into their own game, kicking a plastic bottle around.

Women by the huts chatter nearby as they cook food over crackling wood fire.

The smell of ikan bilis simmering in oil, cooked rice and roasted tapioca wafts through the air.

It looks like any orang asli village in northeast Peninsular Malaysia if not for the red-and-white boom gate and a banner at the foot of the settlement.

It’s been there since late September. It is a single bamboo culm put up to stop anyone from going into the Balah Forest Reserve, 60km away from Gua Musang.

Above it is the white banner with words in Malay painted in red: “This land is only for the Orang Asli to live on.” Read more

Hormati Hak Orang Asli — Bar Malaysia

Sumber: Bar Malaysia

Logo-majlis-peguam-malaysia-malaysian-bar-councilBar Malaysia terkejut dengan laporan mengenai tindakan terhadap lebih kurang 200 Orang Asli Temiar yang telah menaikkan sekatan semasa proses bantahan terhadap aktiviti pembalakan di kawasan hutan simpan Balah berdekatan dengan Gua Musang, Kelantan. Aktiviti pembalakan ini telah menceroboh masuk ke tanah yang dianggap oleh masyarakat Temiar sebagai tanah adat mereka.

Orang Asli yang terjejas terdesak membuat laporan polis terhadap ejen syarikat pembalakan atas dakwaan intimidasi jenayah dalam bentuk ugutan lisan, penggunaan senjata api dan penggunaan mesin gergaji untuk meruntuhkan sekatan tersebut, dan untuk dakwaan penyamaran sebagai anggota polis dan pegawai penguatkuasa.

Bar Malaysia menuntut pihak berkuasa yang berkaitan untuk menjalankan siasatan penuh terhadap perkara ini, dan membawa ke muka pengadilan semua pihak yang bertanggungjawab ke atas tindakan yang menyalahi undang-undang atau perlanggaran ke atas apa-apa hak.

Bar Malaysia juga memandang berat pendirian yang diambil oleh Kerajaan Negeri dan Kerajaan Persekutuan berhubung dengan hak Orang Asli Temiar terhadap tanah tersebut dan secara amnya hak Orang Asli terhadap kawasan tanah adat dan tradisinya.  Laporan mengenai tindakan yang diambil oleh Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan terhadap sekatan tersebut menunjukkan bahawa mereka memperlihatkan hak mutlak mereka untuk memberi lesen pembalakan yang termasuk kawasan yang bertindih dengan tanah adat Orang Asli.  Kerajaan Persekutuan mendakwa bahawa ia tidak mempunyai kuasa undang-undang untuk mendesak Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan, atas alasan bahawa perkara berkenaan tanah adalah di bawah bidang kuasa eksklusif perlembagaan Kerajaan Negeri.
Read more

Respect the legal rights of the Orang Asli — ​​Steven Thiru

Source: Malaysian Bar | Malay Mail Online

Malaysian Bar Council president Steven Thiru - Pic by Malaysiakini/Loh Jun Lin

Malaysian Bar Council president Steven Thiru – Pic by Malaysiakini/Loh Jun Lin

OCTOBER 14 — The Malaysian Bar is appalled at the recent reported treatment of approximately 200 Temiar Orang Asli who had erected a blockade in protest against logging activities carried out within the Balah forest reserve near Gua Musang, Kelantan. These logging activities encroached upon lands claimed by the local Temiar community to be their customary lands.

The affected Orang Asli were compelled to lodge police reports against the agents of the logging companies for alleged criminal intimidation in the form of verbal threats, the discharge of firearms and the use of chainsaws to disrupt the blockade, and for the alleged impersonation of police and enforcement officers.

The Malaysian Bar demands that the relevant authorities conduct a full investigation into these matters, and bring to justice all parties responsible for any illegal conduct or the violation of any rights.

The Malaysian Bar also views with concern the position taken by the State and Federal Governments regarding the rights of the affected Temiar Orang Asli over the lands in question and, more generally, Orang Asli rights in and over their customary and traditional areas. Read more