Wednesday, May 19, 2021

PH Plus government evicting Mah Meri Orang Asli? Is this the same ALTERNATIVE human rights respecting PH government?

Many Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia, have been repeatedly dislodged and 'moved' from their homes and villagers, whenever 'development' happens... Many years ago, near Sungai Tua, Selangor, for the move ...usually 'deeper into the forest', they were paid RM50-00... In some States, the 'orang asli' are being kept in the same state as they were - so that they can still be 'tourist attraction' ....Now, Selangor is evicting Orang Asli to make way for a tourist destination????

Like the Orang Asli, many Malays and other locals also are living on land that 'officially' they do not own.  For the non-Asli community, they live on lands and homes because the local community there are no objections, or maybe they bought the 'house' from the previous owners - a check on the Land Register will reveal that they are not the 'registered' land owners. Some have been living and working on land granted with T.O.L.(temporary occupation licenses) or maybe short leases...

The Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia because of the fact that they have been 'pushed' by encroaching development and other factors from time to time much so many may have even moved out of what could be considered their NCR land('native customary rights land')

The British colonial government, the UMNO-led coalitions(Alliance, and then Barisan National), the PH Plus government and now the PN-BN plus government has failed to address this problem to date, especially for the marginalized Orang Asli communities. [Remember, there are many different Orang Asli ethnic groups in Malaysia, and in 2003, the population is as in the table below(obtained from COAC website






































   Jah Hut

   Che Wong

   Mah Meri

   Semaq Beri

















Aboriginal Malay






   Orang  Kanaq

   Orang Kuala

   Orang Seletar






















Now, traditionally, the Orang Asli and even others did not believe in land ownership - and also not personal land titles/ownership.

Although the original people of the land, sadly even the Federal Constitution fails to provide for 'special protection' and rights - although it is provided for the Malays...Post-independence, this failure could have been remedied by governments but they did not..

Now, 36 Orang Asli from 12 families of Mah Meri people of Kg Orang Asli Bagan Lalang have been told to vacate their village because the land is slated to be developed into a tourist destination..

What is MOST DISAPPOINTING is that this is a state governed by the PH Plus government, who 'claimed' to be an alternative better government. {The PH Plus government was ousted in early 2020, by another coalition of parties - the PN-BN plus government}

Is this not hypocritical of a government that once was concerned about Orang Asli rights - in January 2019... The Malaysian government[under PH Plus] said it would sue the local government of Kelantan state for failing to uphold the land rights of its indigenous people... ?????



Mah Meri tribe evicted from village to make way for tourism project

Raevathi Supramaniam

The site where the Mah Meri of Kg Orang Asli Bagan Lalang have been asked to vacate is to be part of a future tourism destination under the Sepang GoldCoast development project. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, May 14, 2021.

THE Mah Meri people of Kg Orang Asli Bagan Lalang have been told to vacate their village because the land is slated to be developed into a tourist destination under the Sepang GoldCoast development project, Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) said.

The village is a brief walk from the sandy beach that faces the Straits of Malacca, while the Avani Sepang Gold Coast Resort is a short distance away.

“The plan is to develop the area for tourism by Sepang Bay Sdn Bhd as part of the Sepang GoldCoast development project,” the company told The Malaysian Insight in response to a report on the eviction notice served to more than 30 Orang Asli in the village.

PNSB said the Orang Asli’s appeal for an extension to their eviction will be considered by the Sepang district and land office. PNSB and the land office are the landowners.

On April 20, 36 Orang Asli from 12 families in the village were served with the eviction notice. They have to vacate the land within 30 days from the date of the notice.

Orang Asli first settled on the land about 20 years ago. Acknowledging they are squatters on the land, they have asked for an extension of time, saying they were not consulted prior to receiving the eviction notice, and also have few options for relocation.

“PNSB can in principle consider the request for an extension of the eviction notice as the date stated on the notice is not the final date for demolition, but rather to inform the villagers that they are encroaching on our land.

“However, all decisions (with regard to the extension) will be determined by the Sepang land and district office,” the company said.

PNSB also confirmed it had indeed received the villagers’ letter asking for an extension, from Taha Bin Akhir, the Tok Batin of Kg Orang Asli Bukit Bangkung who also looks after Kg Bagan Lalang.

Taha cited the fasting month, Hari Raya, the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that the villagers have nowhere to go, as reasons for an extension.

Although the villagers were not told what the plan for the land was, PNSB said the company is looking to develop it into a tourist destination.

According to its website, the Sepang GoldCoast development project has an estimated gross development value of RM1 billion.

It wants to transform the area into “a world-class coastal eco-city in sustainability and value creation”.

The first phase of the project started with the building of the Avani resort. The second phase involves a development plan called D’Festival and Laguna Villa.

D’Festival will feature a mixed commercial development for resort living, business and entertainment while Laguna Villa will feature a lagoon resort made with environmentally sustainable technology.

The eviction notice from PNSB’s legal department stated that Plot No 69, HS(D) 18372, PT 5249, Plot No 70, HS(D) 18373, PT 5250, HS(D) 37248 and PT 9925 belonged to the company.

“In total, PNSB owns 67.8ha of the land while the district and land office owns 0.4ha of land near the General Operations Force building in the village,” it said. – May 14, 2021, Malaysian Insight.



In unprecedented move, federal gov't sues Kelantan over Orang Asli land rights

BANGKOK: The Malaysian government said on Friday it would sue the local government of Kelantan state for failing to uphold the land rights of its indigenous people, a move that activists said was unprecedented and that could lead to more protection measures.

Orang Asli, meaning “original people“, is the term used for Malaysia’s indigenous people, who make up about 14 per cent of the population. They have been pitted against logging and palm oil companies keen to tap the forested areas in which they live.

Logging companies, which have cleared vast forest areas in Kelantan for durian and rubber plantations, had deprived the Temiar Orang Asli of their ancestral land and resources, the office of the Attorney General said in a statement on Friday.

State authorities did not consult the community before granting the licences, nor offer them compensation, it said.

“Rapid deforestation and commercial development have resulted in widespread encroachment into the native territories of the Orang Asli,” Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in the statement.

“Commercial development and the pursuit of profit must not come at the expense of the Temiar Orang Asli and their inherent right, as citizens of this country, to the land and resources which they have traditionally owned and used,” he said.

The suit, filed in the high court of Kelantan’s state capital Kota Baru, seeks the legal recognition of the Temiar Orang Asli’s land rights, and injunctions to restrain private firms from encroaching on and destroying their land.

The suit names the state government of Kelantan – which lies in the north-east of mainland Malaysia – as well as the state director of land, the forestry department and five private entities as defendants.

Malaysia has adopted the United Nations’ declaration on the rights of indigenous people, which advocates free, prior and informed consent of communities that might be affected by commercial projects.

Yet that is rarely done, activists have said.

Dozens of disputes that pitted indigenous communities against logging and palm oil companies have ended up in court, and several campaigners have been killed in recent years, according to rights groups.

Malaysia’s government, which came to power in May after ousting a corruption-mired coalition, offered some hope, said human rights lawyer Charles Hector.

“Land is a state subject, so it is very significant that the federal government is taking this unprecedented step of suing a state government over the land rights of the Orang Asli,” he said.

“In representing the Orang Asli against the state, the federal government is signalling a different direction for indigenous rights,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Around the world, indigenous and local communities own more than half of the land under customary rights, yet have secure legal rights to just 10 per cent, according to advocacy group Rights and Resources Initiative. - NST, 18/1/2019

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