We take care of orang asli in Perak, says MB

IPOH: Perak practices sustainable logging, which does not affect the livelihood of the orang asli in the state, says Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

He said the state had so far gazetted some 13,000ha of land for the orang asli.

"I don't think Perak will be facing any similar problem like in Kelantan, where a lawsuit has been initiated.

Ahmad Faizal was commenting on the suit by the federal government against the Kelantan state government, which seeks legal recognition for the native land rights of the Temiar orang asli in Pos Simpor.

"Here in Perak, the orang asli have high hopes that the state government will find a way to gazette land for them," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding at his office between the state and developers on the construction of affordable housing.

Ahmad Faizal said logging activities in the state were limited, with affected areas not totally cleared except when it came to palm oil cultivation – something that the new state government had yet to undertake.

He said when it came to logging, Perak practised the tagging method, where only big trees were chosen.

"The logging activities in the state that we see today are not those approved by the new state administrative. I laud the state Forestry Department for maintaining over 48% of land in Perak as forest reserve," he added.

Ahmad Faizal said the state was unable to gazette all land where there were orang asli villages, but said they had never barred any orang asli from entering a forest without a permit.

"Despite it not being gazetted, we have never stopped them. We are always concerned about the well-being of the community.

"We understand their way of living and, in fact, we are finding more ways to help them by providing electricity using solar panels and so forth," he added.


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