Perak MB orders immediate halt to all logging in Gerik Orang Asli area

P Waytha Moorthy (left) and Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

KUALA LUMPUR: Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu has ordered a temporary halt to all logging activities on land claimed by the Orang Asli with immediate effect following a meeting with Senator P Waytha Moorthy and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.

In a joint statement today, Faizal and Waytha, who is minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said both the federal and state governments were “committed to achieving a fair and just solution to protect the interests of the Orang Asli community in that area”.

The meeting took place yesterday.

The order to stop logging will remain pending discussions between the state government and the Orang Asli community of Kampung Cunex, Gerik.

The statement said: “Moving forward, the federal and state governments will work together to resolve any issue regarding the Orang Asli community. Both the federal and state governments take the rights of the Orang Asli community very seriously. ”

The Orang Asli community is protesting logging on what it claims as its customary land. It has been involved in a tussle with the Perak government, with Faizal saying recently that the state government did not recognise any land as customary land for the Orang Asli or any group.

The Orang Asli have been putting up blockades to prevent logging lorries entering the disputed area and some of them have been arrested for this over the past several months.

The Orang Asli community in the village had previously claimed that state authorities had encroached onto their land to carry out logging.