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Monday October 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday October 21, 2013 MYT 7:05:39 AM
by abdul rahman embong
Hear us out: Kampung Bakar Batu villagers engaging in a discussion with representatives from the developer company (first and second from right) to stop the construction project from starting in the village near Perling in Johor Baru.
JOHOR BARU: The Orang Asli Seletar community from Kampung Bakar Batu were up in arms when an excavator entered the village near Perling here to begin road construction works.
The villagers were upset as the project, which would link the village to Danga Bay involves the clearing of land used for the orang asli burial ground.
Some of the villagers gathered in front of the excavator to prevent the construction from starting around 8am yesterday.
Village fishermen community head Tony Dana said the developers should not carry out any activities on the land as they (the villagers) have filed a petition at the Johor Baru High Court in 2011 regarding land claims.
“The developer should not touch our land before the court metes out a decision and the case is expected to be completed by January next year,” he said when met at the village here.
Tony added that the 6.8 ha land was used as a burial ground for the orang asli community from nine villages including Sungai Temon, Simpang Arang, Ulu Tiram, Pasir Puteh, Teluk Jawa and Sungai Papan.
“This land is sacred to us and should not be cleared as the developers wished. We have given up a lot to others in the name of development, it is time that the developers listened to us,” he said.
He added that the villagers were also unhappy that no discussions were ever held between any developers and the villagers regarding developments.
Tony hoped that the state government would step in to help resolve the matter once and for all as the villagers were afraid that contractors would return to the village to start the project again.
A representative from the development company, who only wanted to be known as Lee, said that he was only in charge of the project site and was unsure of the terms and agreements made between the orang asli and the company.
Lee, who visited the village because of the problem, engaged in a discussion and later agreed for the excavator to be driven out of the village at around 11am.
Meanwhile, Pengkalan Rinting assemblyman Cheo Yee How, who organised the press conference, advised the developers to temporarily halt the project as it was stated in the petition that no construction activities should be done on the land pending the court case.
Tags / Keywords:
Southern & Eastern Region, Property, orang asli Seletar, Kampung Bakar Batu, developer, burial ground, Pengkalan Rinting
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