BETRAYAL? By the very dept that is supposed to be on their side?
Is the Kelantan Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) on the side of the Forestry Dept, too?
11 Feb 2017
JAKOA has not washed hands off Kelantan Orang Asli
KUALA PILAH: The Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) has not washed its hands off issues involving the welfare of the orang asli community in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
Director-general Mohd Jamalludin Kasbi said the department always held talks with the Kelantan Forestry Department (JPNK) and the Gua Musang district police chief on ways to resolve those issues.
“JAKOA plays a role in looking after the welfare of the orang asli and we should be informed so that we can help … but we are not involved in the issue in Kelantan … sometimes they (the orang asli community) act on their own.
“The approach we use is to submit applications through the (proper) channels, according to the rules.
“As the department which has been empowered, we have rules and we also observe the rules of other departments and those of the state government. We cannot do things any way we want,” he told reporters here today.
6 Feb 2017
Gua Musang blockade set ablaze and torn down by bulldozers
26 Jan 2017
‘Only 20% of Kelantan Orang Asli against logging’
But Kelantan Network of Orang Asli Villages rubbishes this claim by the Forestry Department, saying that 80% of the Orang Asli want to defend their ancestral lands.
PETALING JAYA: Only 20% of the Temiar Orang Asli in Kelantan are against the logging activities taking place on their ancestral land, the state’s Forestry Department (KFD) claimed today.
The department’s director, Zahari Ibrahim, said most of those who opposed the logging licence issued by the Kelantan government, failed to understand the legal provisions in place.
“The protesters do not represent the whole of the Orang Asli community, but only a small segment who are unsatisfied as they fail to understand the law.
“But the majority of the Orang Asli understand what is taking place.”
He based this on the information received from the village chiefs that only 20% are opposed to the logging activity.
“The other 80% agree with what the Forestry Department and the state government are doing. In fact, most of them disagree with the blockades put up by the protesters,” he told FMT.
Kelantan Network of Orang Asli Villages (JKOAK) secretary Jamali Ayu, however, rubbished Zahari’s claim and said that 80% of the Orang Asli have stood up to defend their ancestral lands.
“I want to state that Orang Asli from 21 out of 35 territories have supported the fight for their rights over their ancestral lands,” Jamali said when contacted.
On Jan 19, Kelantan’s Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) called on those who had participated in the blockades in Simpang Petei, Bihai and Pasik near Gua Musang to stop their protests.
Jakoa chairman Bidi Ronggeng said any issues they have should be dealt with through negotiations with the authorities.
He said resorting to barricades would only put the Orang Asli at a disadvantage and embarrass the Temiar community.
24 Jan 2017
lawyers4liberty: Kelantan Forestry Department acted like ‘thugs and gangsters’ –
PETALING JAYA: Three NGOs today slammed the Kelantan Forestry Department (KFD) for arresting several Orang Asli and journalists and for destroying a blockade at Simpang Petei in Gua Musang.
In a statement, Bersih 2.0 took issue with the state’s Forestry Department for failing to take those they arrested to the police station as well as for seizing their personal belongings, including mobile phones and motorcycles.
“The Forestry Department has gone too far. Their conduct is that of thugs and gangsters and are simply against the law. It must not and will not be tolerated,” the statement read.
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) called for “legislative and administrative reforms” to define and protect the rights of the Orang Asli when it comes to their land and resources.
Meanwhile, Lawyers for Liberty expressed shock over the state Forestry Department’s arrest of two journalists working for Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia.
“These arrests are a serious assault on democracy and freedom of the press and must be condemned.
“Such high-handed behaviour will only send a chilling message to the press to self-censor or not cover such events or else they may be arrested,” read the statement signed by LFL executive director Eric Paulsen.
“We would like to remind the Kelantan government that journalism is not a crime and these journalists were merely performing their role in reporting an issue of grave importance and of public interest.”
Suhakam denounces demolition of orang asli blockades in Gua Musang
PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has condemned the Kelantan Forestry Department’s demolition of the orang asli blockades in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
In a statement Tuesday, Suhakam expressed dismay that the blockades set up by the orang asli in the Balah forest reserve to protest against logging had been dismantled by the department in an operation that started on Monday.
“Suhakam is deeply concerned that this marginalised and vulnerable community who are among Malaysia’s poorest minority have been targets of long-standing discrimination, exclusion and more recently, violence.
“These blockades are a symbol of protest by them, opposing unrestrained commercialisation of the forests, which violates the many established principles on business and human rights, such as the duty of the state to protect, and duty of businesses to respect the human rights of the orang asli,” it said.
Suhakam referred to the national inquiry it conducted in 2013, which found that the orang asli “face substantial, discriminatory and unbearable obstacles to the exercise and enjoyment of their rights to own, possess and control their lands”.
It added that a national task force committee had accepted 17 of the 18 recommendations made by Suhakam back then and called on the Government to take steps to implement them.
Kelantan forestry authority has demolished the Cawas
#timber blockade set up by Orang Asli at Pos Bihai, Gua Musang – PEKA images
MASYARAKAT ORANG ASLI GESA SUHAKAM BERTINDAK
#suhakam #smnetnews #OrangAsli http://smnetnews.blogspot.my/2017/01/masyarakat-orang-asli-gesa-suhakam.html?m=1 …
Orang Asli are the most underprivileged & marginalised community in Msia & yet Pas govt choose logging over their rights & well being.
theSundaily: Two journalists, 16 Orang Asli detained by Forestry Dept: Siti Kasim http://bit.ly/2jXz3in
1 Dec 2016
Seven more Orang Asli arrested after crackdown at another blockade
Seven more Orang Asli in Gua Musang, this time at Pos Pasik, were arrested after police moved to dismantle a separate blockade this afternoon.
The Orang Asli were held in a police truck for several hours before they were transported to the Gua Musang district police headquarters.
According to lawyer Siti Kasim, she had been waiting at the police station to assist the arrested Orang Asli as police had to make a long journey back to town from the interiors.
“We are still waiting for the arresting officer to do his job. The boys are still in the (police) truck,” she said in a Facebook posting.
They are expected to be released after having their statements recorded.
Some 200 people, including families and friends, gathered outside the police station to await their release, according to Jawatakuasa Komuniti Badan Gabungan Aktivis Alam Sekitar Kelantan Malaysia communications director Mohd Hisyamuddin Ghazali.
“It’s raining heavily here and the families are still gathered outside the police station waiting for the seven to be freed,” he said.
The 47 released today also vowed to wait until their comrades from Pos Pasik are released before returning to their villages.
Fresh arrests follow release of 47 Orang Asli
It is as though the Kelantan government does not know of any other way to resolve the state’s logging issues, says Orang Asli welfare NGO vice-president Zurdi Baharu.
GUA MUSANG: A “lorryful” of Orang Asli from Pos Pasik have been arrested.
This comes right after 47 Orang Asli from Pos Simpang Petei were released today, activist lawyer Siti Kasim claims.
FMT could not confirm the exact number of Orang Asli detained today, but lawyers said the arrests took place after the Kelantan Forestry Department demolished a logging blockade today.
Jaringan Orang Asli SeMalaysia (Joas) vice-president Zurdi Baharu said his relief at the release of the 47 detained did not last long.
“We thank the authorities for freeing the 47 Orang Asli detained on Tuesday, but sadly there have been fresh arrests in Pos Pasik.
“The new arrests give the impression that there is no solution (to Kelantan’s logging issues).
“We are disappointed in the action taken by the Kelantan Forestry Department and the menteri besar,” he told FMT.
47 Orang Asli released, more feared arrested in separate crackdown
The 47 Orang Asli activists arrested in a crackdown on an anti-logging blockade in Pos Petei, Gua Musang, were released this afternoon, Jaringan Orang Asli Semenanjung representative Nasir Dollah said.
They were released at the Gua Musang district police headquarters round 3.30pm, after two days in remand.
However, Nasir said, it is feared more activists could have been detained in a Forestry Department operation against another anti-logging blockade at Pos Pasik in the Kelantan interior today.
“We don’t know how many have been arrested as yet,” he told Malaysiakini.
Lawyer Siti Kasim, who was at the Gua Musang district police headquarters, told the released group the Forestry Department agreed not to seek a remand for those arrested in Pos Pasik.
Siti said they were on the way to Gua Musang district police headquarters and would be released on police bail.
However, she stressed that police were only facilitating the Forestry Department operations.
Orang Asli rally together, set up new barricades
More than 200 Orang Asli from villages around Gua Musang come to support those who have been arrested, urging police to release them.
GUA MUSANG: The Orang Asli in Gua Musang are not giving up the fight against logging activities as they set up new barricades this morning, and with greater numbers this time.
It was not long after about 40 men were arrested by police at the Simpang Petei logging site on Tuesday, that more than 200 Orang Asli folk came from all around the villages in Gua Musang and camped out near Parit.
This time they are also calling for the authorities not to harass the community and to release the men who were arrested earlier.
The group were joined by local and foreign NGOs, who have been providing aid and also legal support to the Orang Asli for a few months now.
“We are not going to budge, so please have some pity and let us be. Stop bullying us,” an Orang Asli man named Gapeh Angah said, while also appealing to the authorities to release the men who were arrested.
Rahman said police did not dismiss the possibility of taking action against the 70 demonstrators who held an illegal gathering at the Gua Musang district police headquarters for five hours from 10pm on Tuesday.
Cops warn those who post Orang Asli arrests online
Kelantan police chief says legal action will be taken against individuals who try to tarnish the image of the police.
KOTA BARU: Kelantan police will take stern action against those who exploited the issue of the arrest of Orang Asli at the Balah Permanent Forest Reserve (HSK), Gua Musang.
State police chief, Ab Rahman Ismail said they were monitoring several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) believed to be masterminds in exploiting the Orang Asli community to erect barriers at the logging track in the forest.
“We are aware that there are people who have made viral on social media, the arrest of the Orang Asli in the operation, giving a negative impression that police had conspired with the state Forestry Department when we were only assisting the department,” he told reporters at his office in the state police headquarters, here, yesterday.
On Tuesday, 47 Orang Asli who put up blockades at Simpang Petei and the entry route to Pos Bihai were detained by police after refusing to move from the barricaded area during the operation conducted by the state Forestry Department.
The operation to dismantle the logging barriers was conducted following a deadlock in negotiations between the state government and the Orang Asli, believed to be due to interference from outsiders.
Rahman said legal action would be taken against individuals who tried to tarnish the image of the police, while the Orang Asli arrested yesterday were being remanded for two to three days to assist in the investigation.
He said police also received nine reports on the issue from police personnel, state Forestry Department and the NGOs.
30 Nov 2016
Diiringi Tangisan 49 Orang Asli Gua Musang Dikurung Kerana Mempertahankan hak mereka
Vigil lilin solidariti 49 OA di depan IPD Gua Musang hari ini 8malam!
Police say they only ‘facilitated’ arrests of the Orang Asli
The 41 Orang Asli native rights activists now being held at the Gua Musang district police headquarters lock-up were arrested by the Kelantan Forestry Department, Kelantan police have told the activists.
The police only ‘facilitated’ the operation to ensure everything went smoothly, those arrested were told.
The 41 were picked up in a joint raid yesterday by the police and the Forestry Department, which moved to break up the Pos Petei anti-logging barricade near Gua Musang.
It was not made clear under which law the 41 Orang Asli defending their forest reserves were arrested, lawyer Siti Kassim, who is representing the Orang Asli activists, said in a Facebook posting.
As of the time of the posting last night, she was on her way to Gua Musang to meet her clients.
The police had earlier told Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) Orang Asli Affairs Bureau coordinator Suresh Kumar that those arrested were being held by police based on “a memorandum of understanding” between the police and the Forestry Department.
Relating the matter in a series of Facebook postings, Suresh said the police told him that they have nothing to do with the arrests, that both the investigating officer and the arresting officers were from the Forestry Department.
The police were only on the ground to ‘facilitate’ matters and ensure things didn’t get out of hand, he was also told.
Consulted on the matter, Siti related in another posting: “There is no such thing under the law when the liberty of a person is at stake.”
Suresh had met with the police last night to check on the Orang Asli and find out more details of their arrest.
Penahanan Orang Asli Temiar di Gua Musang terkait dgn soal pembalakan hutan bawah juridiksi Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan. Perlu dibahas hal ini.
Orang Asli march to court in solidarity with arrested activists
The 41 Orang Asli activists arrested yesterday have been remanded for two days, over their anti-logging blockade in the interiors of Gua Musang, Kelantan.
“Sadly, the court gave two days’ remand out of seven days requested. I tried my best,” lawyer Siti Kasim said in a Facebook posting.
The blockade, which was set up on Monday, was part of an initiative by the orang asli community to prevent loggers from going in and out of what the local villagers claim is part of their ancestral land.
On Wednesday, Orang Asli activist claimed loggers dismantled their blockade with a chainsaw.
They claimed the loggers were accompanied by police and Forestry Department officers who travelled in the vehicles provided by the loggers.
1 October 2016
Orang asli protesters drive police away from barricade
GUA MUSANG: Orang asli protesters have driven off the deputy district police chief and 10 police personnel from their blockade here this Saturday.
“There were at least 200 orang asli there and I politely asked them whether I could pass the blockade,” said Deputy Supt Yap Sow Sing.
DSP Yap added that none of those present could answer when he asked them which laws they were relying on to set up the blockade.
He said that the orang asli refused to negotiate or discuss the matter further with him or the other police personnel present.
DSP Yap added that the police would not cause a conflict or escalate the stand-off.
“I suspect that they think I was not a real policeman, and they were rude by not allowing the police through the blockade,” said DSP Yap.
30 September 2016
SAM: Claims of cops aiding loggers against Orang Asli must be probed
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) has urged the authorities to probe claims that the police and Forestry Department assisted loggers to break up a blockade by the local Orang Asli community in Gua Musang.
“We are worried over the allegations made by the people that the Forestry Department staff and the police had travelled together in private vehicles with the company representatives to the blockade site.
“This allegation must be thoroughly investigated by both authorities,” said SAM president SM Mohamed Idris.
He urged police to take an impartial stance and investigate the allegations.
“The Orang Asli protesters must not be harassed or threatened with arrest for protecting their customary land from encroachment.
“The people’s actions fall well within their constitutional rights, the freedom to assemble peacefully and the right to protect their property,” Idris (photo) said.
He urged the Kelantan government to enforce sustainable development of the state’s forest.
29 September 2016
Orang Asli trio lodges report over arrest by ‘bogus’ police officers
Three Orang Asli activists in Kelantan have lodged police reports after they were detained by men allegedly posing as police officers.
The trio, Mustafa Along, Manglo A/L Tegau and another activist named Salim, were involved in a blockade along a logging trail deep in the interior of Gua Musang, which was reportedly destroyed yesterday.
The Star reported Mustafa, who is the Kelantan Network of Orang Asli Villages secretary, as saying that the heads of logging companies in the area had visited the blockade together with “police and Forestry Department officers” as well as “aggressive workers”.
“As we held the blockade we were threatened and provoked to end it,” Mustafa was quoted as saying.
After an exchange of words, he was then detained by the “police officers”, who declined to handcuff him.
Mustafa said the alleged bogus officers had shown some identification, but he did not get a good look.
“I was taken to a four-wheel drive vehicle, which I believe belongs to a worker from a logging company,” he said.
Manglo and Salim were detained soon after.
“We were arrested but not arrested officially. The aim was just to frighten the others,” Mustafa said.
The trio were later released from their detention.
Thugs posing as police break up Orang Asli blockade in interior of Kelantan
The blockade organised by the orang asli community before the incident occurred.
GUA MUSANG: A group of thugs claiming to be police men allegedly tore down a blockade set up by an orang asli group on a logging trail between Pos Tohoi and Pos Simpor, located approximately two and a half hours from Gua Musang town.
News of the incident was first reported in a post on lawyer and activist Siti Kasim’s Facebook page on Wednesday.
Three orang asli activists were also believed to have been ‘arrested’ by the culprits and put into civilian vehicles but were eventually released later.
There were apparently no police vehicles present during the incident that happened on Wednesday.
The men claiming to be police then allegedly cut through the barricade with chainsaws.
“Report from inside. Three arrested now. They cut the blockade with chainsaw. I am going to the police station to lodge police report,” said Siti.
Siti Kasim condemns arrest of Orang Asli at logging blockade
Siti Kassim alleges that police came with loggers and without showing any identification, rushed aggressively through the blockade set-up by Orang Asli before arresting them.
PETALING JAYA: At least three Orang Asli were allegedly arrested today by police for setting-up a blockade to protest against rampant logging activities in Gua Musang, Kelantan, said lawyer-cum-activist Siti Kasim in a Facebook posting.
Calling for news of the arrest to be spread, Siti claimed that the three were arrested when loggers rushed to the site of the blockade with policemen in tow, who once there, proceeded to destroy the wooden fortifications.
“The police came with loggers in the loggers’ car and without showing identification, rushed through the blockade aggressively. They also brought weapons with them,” her online posting said earlier this afternoon.
The detainees were forced into the loggers’ car before they were taken to the Gua Musang police station, she alleged.
In her latest post, Siti clarified that the “thugs” were not sent by the Gua Musang police. She also said she would work with the trio to lodge a police report on the incident.
Siti was however unable to furnish FMT with more details of the incident as she was currently too bogged down with work.