Time to resolve orang asli land issues near Dengkil

PETALING JAYA: Land issues affecting the orang asli in Bukit Tunggul and Bukit Jenuk, near Dengkil, need to be resolved so that they can be provided with amenities, says the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns.

The centre’s coordinator Dr Colin Nicholas said only landowners could apply for amenities, but the orang asli did not have land titles.

“Solve the orang asli land issue first by recognising the existing villages as orang asli reserve land,” he said.

The plight of the orang asli villages along Putrajaya’s border was highlighted by an online portal recently.

The Report of the National Inquiry into the Land Rights of the Indigenous People (2013) stated that the Temuan from Bukit Tunggul, Dengkil, were asked to move twice – first when the area was given to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (202.34ha) and then to Bukit Unggul Resort (557.66ha).

On Monday, the online portal quoted a Bukit Tunggul orang asli, who refuted claims by the authorities that the villagers had received RM2mil in compensation to vacate their land.

The orang asli said they were in the dark about any negotiations done on their behalf.

Dr Nicholas claimed that the agreement between the then Orang Asli Affairs Department (now called Orang Asli Development Department) and the golf course developer was null and void as the deal had not been adhered to.

He said the state government had sold off the land to the golf resort in 1993 and in the agreement, the sum was not to exceed RM2mil in compensation, which included construction of houses in Kg Kechau in Semenyih for 32 families, translocation of graves, monthly stipend of RM200 for six months, compensation for loss of trees, and the provision of water and electricity, a community hall and road infrastructure.

“The Orang Asli Affairs Department was solely responsible for the resettlement because it undertook the responsibility,” he claimed.

Moreover, Dr Nicholas also said that after the Selangor government resettled the orang asli from the UKM site to the Bukit Tunggul permanent forest reserves in the late 1970s, the state was supposed to gazette the land for them, but did not do so.

Following the agreement in 1993, he said the orang asli were supposed to move to Kg Kechau in Semenyih, but some did not do so because the land belonged to another orang asli group.

Furthermore, there were not enough land, houses or facilities there, he added.

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