KOTA BARU: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has apologised to the orang asli community, especially from the Jakun group, for using the word Jakun in a statement he made last year to describe the act of politicians who hopped from one party to another.
Nik Aziz said he regretted using the word which had slighted the feelings of the people of the Jakun group.
“At the time I uttered the word, I was not aware that I was referring to a group in the orang asli community. I am saddened after realising I had indirectly hurt their feelings.
“To me, it seemed normal to use the word. But after finding out that it was also the name of an orang asli group, I would like to openly apologise to the community,” Nik Aziz told reporters after meeting a delegation of orang asli at his official residence yesterday.
Nik Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual adviser, also promised that he would watch his mouth in future to avoid hurting other people’s feelings.
Early last year, the Jakun group from Rompin, Pahang had called on Nik Aziz to apologise for likening politicians who hopped from party to party like Jakun.
The Rompin Jakun leader said it was unbecoming of Nik Aziz to liken the Jakuns with party hopping politicians.
At the same meeting, a leader of the Kelantan orang asli community, Azmi Badul also handed a memorandum to Nik Abdul Aziz demanding that state government solves land problems faced by the community.
“We want our customary land to be gazetted to the orang asli community and not given to individuals.
“This land belonged to our ancestors for thousands of years and we want the government to stop people from trespassing on our land either for logging or gold prospecting purposes,” he said.
To this, Nik Aziz said the state government would hand over the land titles to the community as soon as work to measure the acreage that belonged to them was completed.
“That is why we want the Orang Asli Development department to provide us with the funds to carry out the work.
“The government had long ago decided to give the land to the orang asli community and one of the conditions that must be fulfilled is that the individual concerned must have stayed on the land for an extended period of not less than 10 years,” he said.
He also said that when the measurement was completed, the government would gazette and allocate the land to the community.
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