Court: 9,300ha must remain Orang Asli customary land

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KOTA BARU: The High Court here today ruled that an area covering 9,300 hectares at Pos Belatim, Gua Musang, should remain as Orang Asli customary land.

When handing down the decision, judge Zainal Azman Ab Aziz also revoked an agreement signed by the Kelantan government to develop a 1,000ha site in the area for the “Ladang Rakyat” project.

He ordered the Kelantan government and the State Land and Mines Department, who were named the respondents, to carry out mapping of the area, and gave them a month from today to do so.

He also ordered the respondents to pay costs of RM50,000 to the three plaintiffs, Rosli Along, Angah Along and Hassan Alang.

In 2011, the three men, representing the Orang Asli community in Pos Belatim, filed an application for a certiorari order for the court to revoke the state government’s decision in allowing part of the land occupied by the Orang Asli for development of the Ladang Rakyat project.

They named the Kelantan government and the State Land and Mines Department as the respondents.

Rosli, Angah and Hassan were represented by a panel of lawyers from the Bar Council’s Committee on Orang Asli Rights, led by Lim Heng Seng.

The others were Dr Yogeswaran Subramaniam, Tan Hooi Ping and M Rajkumar.

State assistant legal adviser Nazlyza Mohd Nazri appeared for the respondents.