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​SUHAKAM to probe alleged Orang Asli land grab

Graphic: Orang Asli representatives present their complaint to the Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission will investigate the claim made by the indigenous communities about the alleged encroachment by the state government.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) will investigate the claim by a group of Orang Asli villagers from Ledang, Johor who alleged that their ancestral land had been encroached by the state government.

SUHAKAM Comissioner Datuk Lok Yim Pheng received a memorandum from the Kampung Sungai Air Tawas and Tanah Gembur residents, who claimed that the invasion into their ancestral land in the Johor National Park violated their human rights and source of income.

SUHAKAM Comissioner Datuk Lok Yim Pheng receives the memorandum alleging encroachment of ancestral land by the state government. Video story by The Star Online.

She said that SUHAKAM would immediately investigate the matter as it impinged the Orang Asli's human rights and cultural practices, the Malay Mail Online reported.

"We have heard their complaints and we will not keep quiet. We will investigate and take necessary action. Their human rights should be respected and the laws should be upheld," Commissioner Lok told reporters during a press conference at the Commission's headquarters today.

SUHAKAM also urged for a roundtable discussion to be held immediately between the Johor National Park's authorities, the developer company and the Orang Asli to resolve the matter amicably.

Commissioner Lok added that the Orang Asli Development Department should also look into the matter as it was under the department's jurisdiction.

Jengkeng Jani who was representing Kampung Tanah Gembur claimed that the land marked for the project has been used by his family for generations and is a source of income.

The villagers have also filed a suit against the Johor government and three others to challenge projects being carried out an area earlier this month.

The Orang Asli claimed that they were never informed about the projects, which involve construction of perimeter fencing and digging works.

Date: 13 January 2017

Source: Malay Mail Online

Image credits

  1. Orang Asli representatives present their complaint to the Human Rights Commission - The Star Online, screen grab from YouTube story; https://youtu.be/J24tZHqZNHc