Johor to decide on compensation for Stulang Laut Orang Asli this week

The Orang Asli of the Seletar tribe at the Johor Bahru High Court on Monday to seek court action to force payment of compensation for being relocated from Stulang Laut to Kampung Orang Asli Kuala Masai. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Johor Menteri Besar Sahruddin Jamal today said the state government would be making a decision on the compensation for the Selatar tribe of Orang Asli from Stulang Laut in a week or two.

The decision would be made at the state executive council meeting, Bernama reported him as saying.

“We will inform the people on the outcome of the meeting,” Sahruddin told reporters after an open house at his official residence, Saujana, here today.

On Monday, 51 Orang Selatar from Kampung Orang Asli in Kuala Masai, Pasir Gudang, had filed an application for a writ of mandamus, a court action that will compel the Johor land authorities to pay compensation.

The application at the Johor Bahru High Court was to resolve the issue of land compensation for the land they vacated in Stulang Laut.

All of them had moved out of their original villages in Stulang Laut to Kampung Orang Asli in Kuala Masai.

They were represented by counsel Tan Poh Lai in the suit. Tan said High Court judge See Mee Chun had allowed an application by the Orang Asli for a judicial review. A date will be fixed for the hearing.

After the court appearance, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim had hoped Sahruddin would take immediate action to pay the arrears in compensation pending for the past nine years.

“The order was issued in 2010, but the old government failed to comply with this court order. The new government should be positive and respect the law.

“I hope, if possible, this case can be resolved immediately, even before the case management is held. There’s no need to wait for the hearing,” he said.

In 2008, the Orang Asli had taken legal action against the Johor director of lands and mines, Johor Bahru City Council, and the director-general of Orang Asli Affairs. Two years later, they were granted a High Court decision in their favour.

The High Court ruled in 2010 that the Orang Asli should be compensated in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act 1960, and such compensation must be determined by the Johor Bahru Land Administrator.