PETALING JAYA: About 800 Orang Asli have formed blockades in parts of Gua Musang to stop lorries from going in and out of the areas in protest against extensive logging and mining activities.
The chairman of Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli in Kelantan, Mustafa Along, said they had no choice but to do this.
“We depend on the forest for our livelihood. But since the logging by private companies, our livelihood is affected. We also depend greatly on the forest to carry our rituals but with extensive logging, the size of the forest is getting smaller,” he told FMT.
He said the blockade started this morning and they would continue to block the roads until the PAS-led Kelantan state government intervened.
“What else can we do. We have sent protest letters and memorandums to the state government since 2010,” he added.
The blockades are set up in three areas – Chawas, Tohoi and Kuala Wok.
In Chawas, he said, there was extensive logging and rubber planting, while in Tohoi, there was logging and the planting of Musang King durian trees.
In Kuala Wok, he added, companies were carrying out logging, planting of oil palm trees and mining for gold.
“We are pleading to the government not to allow logging. There is too much logging at the moment. It is affecting our lives. We come from a tradition that depends on the forest,” he said.
Mustafa claimed the state government had told them there was ample forest, but he said most of the forest included rubber trees and oil palms. “There is not much eco-system left.”