Bar wants a stop to oppression against Temiar, Rohingyas

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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.

He said the Bar wanted the Kelantan government to impose a moratorium on all enforcement and logging activities pending a resolution on the customary land rights claim.

Meanwhile, the Bar said it welcomed the recent diplomatic intervention by Putrajaya against the Rohingya people being persecuted in Myanmar.

“It is heartening that the government of Malaysia has decided to cast aside the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of a member state of Asean.”

He said Malaysia could not brush aside egregious violations of human rights within the borders in this Asean community.

Steven said displacement of the Rohingyas affected peace and security of the entire region.

He said the government must accord refugee status to the Rohingyas, similar to the Syrians whom Malaysia has offered resettlement.