Jakoa urges Federal, state govts to resolve Orang Asli issues amicably

  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Aug 2019

Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) director-general Dr Juli Edo,

KUALA LUMPUR: Issues concerning the Orang Asli would best be addressed through amicable dialogue rather than conflict, says Dr Juli Edo.

The Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) director-general said he hoped future discussions between the Federal and state governments would result in fair and just solutions for both sides.

He added that this would include disputes involving customary land rights

"I understand that Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu will be meeting again with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy.

"The latter will also be meeting with Attorney General Tommy Thomas about this and I do believe that this issue should be resolved at a ministerial level," he said.

Dr Juli was responding to a joint statement released on Thursday (Aug 1) by both Ahmad Faizal and Waytha Moorthy about issuing a temporary halt on all logging activities in Kampung Cunex pending discussions between the state and the Orang Asli community.

He said Jakoa was prepared to step in and iron out any difficulties during the discussions.

"We'll be on hand to give explanations and comments on the issue. We really hope for both the state and federal governments to resolve the issue amicably.

"That is the only way. Conflict will not solve anything," he said when met at the World Indigenous Day celebration at the Universiti Malaya Centre for Malaysian Indigenous Studies on Friday (July 2).

In the joint statement, both Ahmad Faizal and Waytha Moorthy said the federal and state governments took the rights of the Orang Asli very seriously and would work together to resolve any issues concerning the community.

Separately, Pam Yeek said they welcomed the temporary halt and added that logging had affected the community's livelihood and threatened water catchment areas.

He is one of the Orang Asli villagers arrested for putting up a blockade against loggers in Gerik.

"It would be better if it was stopped permanently. Our forests have all been cleared for various projects, and we cannot allow this to continue," he said.

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