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Orang asli community angry over damage to ancestral cemetery


Ancestral cemetery: Villager Robert Jaafar pointing out one of the ancestral burial plots.

Ancestral cemetery: Villager Robert Jaafar pointing out one of the ancestral burial plots.

JOHOR BARU: The orang asli Seletar from Sungai Temon and Kampung Bakar Batu claim a developer has been encroaching onto their land for the past year.

Its Sungai Temon division fishermen community head Tony Anak Dana said villagers were furious at developers for dumping piles of sand into the area as it has damaged their ancestral cemetery.

“We realised that three of our ancestral burial plots were completely buried in a huge pile of sand two weeks ago and that was the the last straw,” he said when met at Kampung Bakar Batu in Perling here on Sunday.

He added that some villagers were so angry they chased away some workers who came to carry out construction work.

“As it is they have taken up 70% of the 6.88 hectares of land we rightfully own and now they have destroyed our cemetery which dates back six generations.

Beachfront: Huge pile of sand covering the land alleged to rightfully belong to the orang asli Seletar from Sungai Temon and Kampung Bakar Batu.
Full of sand: Construction material can be seen left on the land claimed by orang asli Seletar to rightfully theirs.

“We filed a lawsuit against the developers last September and by right, they should not conduct construction activities until the court decides in January.”

Tony urged the authorities to look into the matter as the villagers might have to cordon off the area and not allow anyone to enter.

Meanwhile, Pengkalan Rinting assemblyman Cheo Yee How said that the developer was planning to construct a new route that would connect Sungai Temon and Kampung Bakar Batu.

“It is believed that a road and a bridge would be built,” he said.

Cheo urged the developer to halt construction work until the case is heard in court.

Representatives of the developer refused to comment when approached by reporters.

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