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Thursday August 23, 2012

TI-M: Listen to orang asli community on Tasik Chini

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia may lose its only Unesco Biosphere Reserve status site if it does not listen to the woes of the orang asli, Transparency International-Malaysia has warned.

TI-M secretary-general Josie M. Fernandez was commenting on Datuk Mohamad Olian Abdullah's remarks in a local daily in which the orang asli senator dismissed the concerns of the Tasik Chini community over pollution in the area.

The report quoted Mohamad Olian as saying that “the community cannot expect to stay on the land forever as there will be a time when they need to accept development”.

“The Unesco Biosphere programme emphasises participatory decision-making with local communities in all development activities that impact the ecological, social and economic dimensions of Tasik Chini,” said Fernandez.

“Local communities must be involved in programmes related to knowledge-sharing, researching, monitoring, education and training at biosphere sites,” she added in a statement, urging Mohamad Olian to show political will and take the necessary action to reverse ecological damage at the lakes.

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