PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Siti Kasim has called on religious authorities to stop pressuring and forcing the Orang Asli from the Batek tribe in a village in Pahang to remain as Muslims.
In a nine-minute video uploaded on her Instagram, Siti claimed that the villagers had been coerced into embracing Islam in the 1990s, adding that they knew nothing of the faith and were not practising Muslims.
She said the villagers told her that they had been under the impression that they would be evicted from their village if they did not embrace Islam.
The villagers, she said, now want to go to court to renounce Islam, but have been facing pressure not to do so.
According to the villagers, Orang Asli religious authorities and the Department of Orang Asli Development had since visited them to offer aid, such as rice.
Siti said the villagers were now worried.
Siti said “enough is enough” and that the authorities should not insist on them remaining as Muslims if they did not want to.
Siti urged the authorities to stop applying pressure on the Orang Asli.
“You’re putting fear into them and making their lives miserable. This is wrong,” she said.