Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Orang Asli protest against 'unfair' land policy

More than 2,000 from the Orang Asli community will be converging in Putrajaya for a rare protest agaisnt what they deem to be an unfair land policy.

According to Centre For Orang Asli Concerns coordinator Colin Nicholas, 44 buses carrying the Orang Asli are on their way to country's administrative capital.

They plan to march from Putrajaya Mosque to the Prime Minister's Department at 2pm to hand over a memorandum, signed by 12,000 Orang Asli throughout Peninsular Malaysia, to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The protest is organised by the Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Association (POASM) and the Network of Orang Asli Villages Perak.

According to coordinator Jenita Engi, representatives from seven Malaysian states decided to demonstrate after negotiations with the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JHEOA) earlier this month came to a dead end.

Among the complaints
include the fact that only six to eight acres of land will be allocated to each household.

"We demand that all the land that was explored by our ancestors to be handed over to us, and not just these six to eight acres," she told Malaysiakini yesterday.

The Orang Asli community also demands that all restrictions be removed to allow them the right to sell their land.

The said land policy is to be part of an amendment proposal to Act 134 of the National Land Act, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament by June 2010.

This will be the second street protest by the Orang Asli this year, with the first taking place in front of the JHEOA hospital on Feb 24.

[More to follow]

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