Land rights: Court rules in favour of Temiar Orang Asli

PETALING JAYA: It was a victory for the Temiar Orang Asli community from Gua Musang, Kelantan, when the High Court ruled against a company accused of encroaching into their land.   

The Kota Baru High Court struck out the claim made by M7 Plantation Berhad and an injunction against Orang Asli representative Mustafa Along.   

Judicial Commissioner Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh ruled that the facts presented by M7 Plantation in its statement of claim were bare and not particularised.

He also said M7 did not produce evidence to support its claim that the state government gave them a licence to carry out commercial activities in the land. 

“M7 had also named Mustafa as the wrong party to their action as he was only a spokesman for the Orang Asli in the settlement,” Wan Ahmad was reported by Free Malaysia Today as saying. 

The defendants’ lawyer G. Ragumaren said the ruling meant the Temiar tribe could put up any blockades to stop trespassers from entering the land. 

“It’s a real legal victory for the Orang Asli who had been fighting with private enterprises out to exploit their land,” he said.

Activist lawyer Siti Kasim had posted the news on her social media saying, “Good News! We won in Gua Musang against Musang King!” 

She also posted pictures of the Temiar people with their lawyers outside the Kota Baru High Court on Sunday (June 30). 

A long drawn-out tug of war had taken place between the Temiar tribe and durian planters as the Orang Asli community put up blockades to prevent their native land from being cleared by the company.

The company M7 had filed for legal action against the Orang Asli community and Mustafa for barricading the land in August last year.

In November last year, the High Court granted the company an injunction, which allowed for the barricades to be removed and for its employees to carry out their activities in the land.

However, in March this year, the defendants filed an application to strike out M7’s suit.

Earlier this year, the Federal Government had also filed a civil suit against the Kelantan state government to seek legal recognition of the native land rights of the Temiar community in the area.

The Kelantan state government’s application to strike out the suit by Putrajaya will be heard on July 21.

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