Time for comprehensive solution to Orang Asli land issues, says G25

A group of Orang Asli during a meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya, August last year. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The G25 group of former senior civil servants has called for a more comprehensive solution to address issues related to land rights of the Orang Asli, following Putrajaya’s decision to file a suit on behalf of the indigenous community against the Kelantan government’s alleged land grabs.

It cited the National Inquiry Report on Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples submitted by the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) six years ago to the previous government, saying there were 18 recommendations.

“However, no remedial action has been taken thus far,” the group said, in a statement welcoming the legal action against the Kelantan government, who Putrajaya accused of failing to protect the legitimate rights of the Orang Asli.

The suit is also seeking an injunction to stop private companies from encroaching into native lands to carry out commercial activities.

The Kelantan government and its agencies had in recent times granted logging licences to private companies to enter the native land of the Temiar Orang Asli in Pos Simpor, near Gua Musang, where forests were cleared to make way for durian and rubber tree plantations.

While activists welcomed Putrajaya’s move, they also warned the government against exploiting it to boost support from Orang Asli voters in the coming Cameron Highlands by-election.

G25 said Orang Asli rights have been ignored in favour of illegal loggers and political cronies.

“The various abuses suffered by the Temiar community must stop as these have been going on for a long time.”