Arrest of 13 Orang Asli from the Temiar community: community rights or corporate interest?

Arrest of 13 Orang Asli from the Temiar community: community rights or corporate interest?

1 February 2012

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is dissapointed with the police and the Kelantan State Government for not being respectful of Indigenous Land Rights. We urge the authorities to immediately stop all form of harassments and hold negotiations with the Temiar Community.

We view with disgust the arrest of 13 people including a lawyer Siti Kasim for the offense of setting up a blockade preventing logging companies to further encroach their  native land. We are also deeply disturbed by the  highhandedness of the police force as after arresting members of the community, they went on in unlawful and rowdy fashion in burning down the blockade  barriers as well as adjacent resting areas structures. The police also  prevented other community members to lend support to their detained members at the police station.

Whose instruction and whose interest are the police protecting? It seems that the police force and the State Government are taking sides with the Big logging companies and Corporations rather than the plight of the longest human inhabitant in this land.

The Orang Asal/Asli community have been long struggling to claim their native customary land rights. Both the Federal and State governments fail to recognise this rights and this led to land encroachment by various parties including the plantation and logging companies.

PSM urge the state government to intervene immediately and resolve the matter amicably. The land matter lies within the power and jurisdiction of state government. The state government should exercise its political will to defend and recognise the rights of thesecommunities in preserving their ancestral land. 

It is a choice they have to make – People First or Corporate Interest First ?

Released by
S. Arutchelvan
Setiausaha Agung PSM

Tel: 019-2537791

Photo by Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)

Orang Asli

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