PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has accused the Kelantan government of lacking the political will to take care of its Orang Asli citizens.
He said there was an easy solution to the Orang Asli’s problems but the state government was not doing it.
“They should do a proper survey, identify which areas are traditional areas for the Orang Asli and then gazette those areas. Spend a bit of money, it’s not difficult.”
He added: “It’s just that they don’t care.”
Zaid, who is a former law minister, said unless there were efforts to identify lands which traditionally belonged to the Orang Asli, more loggers would apply for licences and more people would claim the Orang Asli’s lands.
“You have to care a little bit. But this is the problem with PAS. Everything they do, they add an Islamic label to it, but in the end the content is zero.”
Yesterday, 48 Orang Asli were arrested in Gua Musang for their involvement in a logging blockade.
Meanwhile, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who was a former PAS member, said he was surprised and “very disappointed” to hear about the events.
“I’m sure that if the late Nik Aziz were around, he would not allow this kind of thing to happen,” he said, referring to former PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
Zaid claimed the state government was attempting to disassociate itself from the matter.
“The state justifies itself by saying ‘Oh, we leave it to the authorities to handle,” but that’s just an excuse.
“You are the state government. You should meet all the parties involved and try to find a solution and you should always be on the side of the weak.
“It’s basically just washing your hands off the issue, which is exactly what I’d expect from an Umno government, not a PAS one.”