Orang Asli group lodges police report over land encroachment

GUA MUSANG: A group of Orang Asli residents of the Temiar tribe from Kampung Mendrod and Kampung Jelgek B in Pos Brooke have lodged a police report on alleged land encroachment activities in the water catchment areas near their settlement.

A Kampung Mendrod resident, Rama Ajom, 44, lodged a police report at the Gua Musang district police headquarters (IPD) last Sunday over encroachment activities in the area, which were believed to be for the purpose of planting durian trees.

He said if the activities continue, it will cause pollution in the water catchment from the hills used by about 500 Orang Asli residents as a result of the farming activities believed to be carried out by private companies since the beginning of January.

“Prior to this, we had consulted and held discussions with several parties, including the private companies involved, not to carry out plantation activities in the border area with our village.

“In fact, we have reported this problem to the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa), but it seems all in vain because it is believed that the state government has given approval to the companies involved to carry out plantation activities,” he said when met by reporters in Bandar Baru here yesterday.

A representative of the Kampung Jelgek B residents, Ramli Ajom, 34, expressed his sadness and disappointment in seeing more and more land being encroached on, which would have an impact on the area of traditional burial grounds and land cultivated by the residents.

He said the settlement they lived in existed more than 60 years ago, but is now increasingly threatened by land encroachment activities.

“We represent the residents of two villages, hoping that authorities such as the state government, the land and district office, the Environment Department and Jakoa will help the Orang Asli in the area.

“Please don’t destroy the Orang Asli’s water source when opening a plantation. Do research first where our water source is before doing cultivation,” he said.

Meanwhile, when contacted, a Jakoa spokesperson said that the department is aware of the report lodged by the residents, and will hold a discussion in the near future to resolve their problems. — Bernama

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