Orang Asli: Projects too close for comfort

Losing their land: Mohd Radi (left) and other villagers holding up photos of digging and quarrying on their ancestral land in the Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highland area.

IPOH: The Orang Asli living along Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highland have voiced their anxiety over projects near their settlements.

The community from Kampung Ulu Piah and Kampung Pergom said that such works were taking place just a few kilometres away from their villages.

Mohd Radi Shang Gang, 49, a committee member from Kampung Ulu Piah, claimed that these projects which included digging for kaolin and quarrying were damaging their land.

“We are getting tired and disappointed, ” he said when met at Kampung Pergom near here.

Mohd Radi said they had sent letters to the Perak Mentri Besar office and Land Office but had yet to receive a reply.

“We do not know what else we should do. We tried contacting the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) but nothing has been done so far, ” he claimed.

When contacted, Perak and Kedah Jakoa director Harulnizam Abd Rahmand said he would refer the issue to Jakoa district’s department.

“To my knowledge, we have not received any information regarding these projects.”

“However, we will investigate the matter, ” he said.

Kampung Pergom village head, Tok Batin Ngah Amin, 60, hoped the state government would look into the matter.

“We have over seven villages here. Villagers rely on the forest to look for produce to earn a living, ” he said, adding that the Orang Asli were slowly losing their ancestral land.

“We look for herbs and fruits in the forest and in return, we plant trees so that the future generations can make use of it, ” he said.

“But if we no longer have access to enter the land or if the land has been cleared, what will happen to the villagers?” he asked.

Kumpulan Aktivis Sahabat Alam president Mohamad Hafizudin Mohd Nasarudin said the group was working together with the community to map their land.

“Once we have finished mapping their area, we will continue with collecting the history, culture and ecosystem of the area.

“We will then send the documents and maps to the state government in hopes that the land will be gazetted as Orang Asli ancestral land, ” he said.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad said on Feb 9 that three limestone hills, namely Gunung Lanno, Gunung Terundum and Gunung Rapat near Simpang Pulai have been gazetted under the Batu Gajah District’s Local Plan 2025 as a mineral and rock industry economy zone.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Orang Asli , Simpang Pulai , quarry ,


Next In Nation

Covid-19: Parents want clearer school SOP should pupils, staff get infected
India wants Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson to seek licence for COVID-19 vaccines soon: government official
Tawau police to track down those who flee from EMCO areas
Police looking for Indian workers seen being abducted in viral video
MCO: 73 arrested for various SOP violations on Monday (April 12)
Ramadan bazaar near Ipoh's Perak Stadium draws large crowd on first day
DAP infighting exposes chauvinism among grassroots despite its multiracial claims, says MCA
Flash floods cause traffic jams in parts of KL
Ismail Sabri: EMCO for four areas in Sabah and Pahang from April 14-27
Pulapol cluster accounts for 10% of Sarawak's record high 607 Covid-19 cases

Stories You'll Enjoy