KLANG: The current land dispute between a Mah Meri Orang Asli community and the Selangor government-linked company Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad (PNSB) is expected to be settled amicably between the two parties.
PNSB had issued a 30-day eviction notice to the Orang Asli families residing at the Bagan Lalang Orang Asli village recently as the land is the site for the construction of a holiday resort.
The notice drew criticism from the general public, including singer Yuna, accusing PNSB of uprooting the Orang Asli families from their village.
However, it was highlighted that the village does not officially exist nor is it recognised by the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) and that the land belonged to PNSB and the Sepang Municipal Council.
Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Bangkong, Sepang chairman Marin Mungai, when contacted confirmed this and said the settlement was started by an elder from his village.
“She was working at Bagan Lalang and travelling to and from our village was difficult and she built a house at the location (the disputed village).
“This was about 20 years ago and over time, her family members also moved there and built houses at the location, ’’ said Marin.
He added the last two to three years also saw some Malay and Indian families moving to the location and building houses there as well.
“PNSB is also probably worried that the place will turn into a squatter area with others also setting up homes there, ’’ he said.
According to Marin, PNSB was holding meetings with the residents as well as his village leaders to settle the issue.
“I am also attending these meetings and we are having one today (Saturday, May 15) as well, ’’ he added.
Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Bangkong headman Tok Batin Taha Akhir, when contacted, also confirmed that regular meetings were being held with PNSB.
Apparently, Taha had written to PNSB asking for a longer period to relocate as they had nowhere to go and it was difficult to move around during the pandemic.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari recently took to social media to clear the air after the eviction notice drew public ire.
Amirudin tweeted that everything was being done according to stipulated provisions and that the Orang Asli community in the village had agreed to relocate but had asked for an extension of time.
“A proper notice, fair consideration and a humane development plan will be prioritised, ’’ he added.
It is not known yet if PNSB will also be paying out token amounts to the Bagan Lalang village’s Mah Meri families for the eviction.