KUALA LUMPUR: Dismayed by excessive logging, Orang Asli in Kelantan plan to confront loggers by blocking roads leading up to their ancestral land near Kuala Betis, a rural village located in Gua Musang, on Sept 27.
Revealing this, Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) Secretary Mustafa Along told reporters that logging in the state had badly affected the livelihood of every villager, pointing out that it had caused immense environmental pollution.
Earlier, Mustafa, along with members of JKOAK, handed over a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), touching on excessive logging in areas they considered their ancestral land.
“We are not asking for a large piece of land, just enough for us to live.”
Mustafa said the community was also upset that loggers did not engage the Orang Asli community prior to clearing the forest in the past.
The matter is made even more unfortunate, he added, considering that the Kelantan Forestry Department is reputed to be the best when it comes to forest management.
He said JKOAK had sent letters to several logging companies in Kelantan to demand their exit on Sept 13.
“If they (loggers) are stubborn, then we have no choice but to form a blockade on Sept 27.
“We want our forests to remain. If the loggers are still insisting on staying there, we will demonstrate and make them leave.
“We will block the roads and not allow anyone to enter the logging sites.
“The letter was sent last week, so they have about two weeks to act on it.”
The disputed land is located at Pos Simpur and Kuala Bering, almost two hours away from Kuala Betis.
“We want Malaysians to know what is happening in the country. The voices of the Orang Asli must be heard.”