GUA MUSANG: The Orang Asli from the Temiar tribe in Kampung Kelaik, Pos Blau, here are hemmed in on all sides by rampant land clearing for agricultural activities.
Alarmed by these activities near their settlement despite occupying the land for scores of years, they are now urging the state government to gazette their native customary land.
A resident, Uda Busu, 42, claimed that only 100 settlers were left at the settlement from the initial 200 because food and forest products were becoming scarce. Most of them had to move to work at the nearby iron ore mining areas, he added.
According to him, the settlement is now surrounded by durian plantations, oil palm estates and vegetable farms.
“Recently, the residents’ rambutan, rubber and durian farms in Kuala Cenroi (Pos Blau) were destroyed by a company and we were not given compensation.
“We do not know who to approach to claim for compensation.
“If this place is gazetted as our land, we will not have this problem. Now, we are treated like outsiders.
“We are also Malaysians. The authorities should meet us to discuss before giving permission to the company involved,” he said when met by reporters in Kampung Kelaik, Pos Blau.
Another resident, Billy Ibrahim, 39, said he was very worried over the fate of the people living at the settlement and urged that the gazetting of the customary land be resolved immediately.
“Maybe after this, we will soon be forced to live on trees, under bridges or by the roadside,” he said.
Kelantan Orang Asli Villages Network deputy chairman Nasir Dollah, 36, said the gazetting of Orang Asli land would guarantee that the community’s settlement area would not be encroached on.
“If there is nothing in black and white, of course this area that we consider to be Orang Asli land can be taken away any time.
“In other states, the land has been gazetted but not our settlement here,” he said.