Selangor may settle Temuan tribe issue


MYT 7:12:07 PM

PUTRAJAYA: The Selangor Government is considering settling out of court and compensating the Temuan tribe for losing their customary and ancestral land to the state following a land acquisition exercise to build a highway in 1995.

The state government therefore sought a postponement of its appeal in the Federal Court here against a lower court's ruling which declared that the land acquired for the Elite Highway was customary and ancestral land occupied by the tribe for generations.

Tourism, consumer affairs and environment executive councillor Elizabeth Wong said that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had instructed the state legal advisor to apply for an adjournment, as he was keen to re-examine whether to continue the appeal or not.

“I think the orang asli (aborigines) have been marginalised in the past especially in the area of development, so we want them to be afforded their rights,” she said adding that the state government hoped it could settle the matter amicably with the parties in the shortest possible time.

She said the state Government was aiming for a fair settlement and compensation for the orang asli as they were also citizens and it want them to be treated like any other Malaysian.

At the outset of the proceedings Monday, state legal advisor Datin Paduka Zawyah Be Loth Khan made an application to the Federal Court for the adjournment saying that the state government needed some time to study the case before proceeding with the matter.

Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Federal Court judge Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin granted the postponement but did not fix a date.

On Sept 19, 2005, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals of the Selangor Government and the Federal Government against the High Court decision on April 12, 2002, that the 15.39ha plot of land from the Temuan tribe in Kampung Bukit Tampoi, Dengkil land acquired for the construction of the highway was customary and ancestral land occupied by that tribe for generations.

The Temuan tribe was represented by Sagong Tasi and seven others.

Outside the courtroom, Wong also said the Mentri Besar would also be organising a meeting within the week with all the orang asli to hear their grievances, if any.