GUA MUSANG: Thirty Orang Asli from three settlements here have lodged a police report claiming that land encroachment activities have been rampant near their homes over the past three months.
They represent about 1,000 Orang Asli of the Temiar tribe from Pos Ber, who live in Kampung Cedal, Kampung Ber and Kampung Kerbok as well as Kampung Mendrod and Kampung Haed of Pos Brooke.
Kelantan Orang Asli Villages Network deputy chairman Nasir Dollah, 36, said the reports were related to the issue of logging and farming, which, as informed to them by the developer company’s representatives, were expected to begin soon.
“We met the company’s representatives and urged them not to proceed with their plan after we were told that the project covers an area of over 800ha, which will affect the Orang Asli customary land and cause us to lose our rights.
“Because the project will affect the settlers’ farms as well as the settlement areas, it will have an impact on their activities and way of life,” he was reported by Bernama as saying when met by reporters in Bandar Baru here yesterday.
Kampung Mendrod’s Pos Brooke representative, Legek Alang, 69, claimed that a durian planting project started in his village in July had caused the settlers’ water supply to be polluted.
“They started working on the farm on July 25 and the trees have now reached a height of about 1m.
“Our group of over 500 settlers is very disappointed because the soil from the farming project has caused the river water to become cloudy, affecting our water source,” said Legek, who was one of those who lodged the police report.
Pos Brooke settler Ramli Ajom, 34, hopes that the state government, Orang Asli Development Department, Gua Musang District Land Office and Environment Department will monitor the situation as it involves the quality of water in their catchment area.
Pos Ber settler Uda Jenang, 59, hopes that the government will pay more attention to the illegal land encroachment, which he claims is becoming more rampant near their settlements.
“We urge that the project be carried out elsewhere instead of encroaching on the Orang Asli customary land.
“We appeal to the government to understand our plight and help resolve the issue,” he said.
Gua Musang district police chief Supt Sik Choon Foo confirmed receiving the reports from the Orang Asli group.
“Three reports were lodged by 30 Orang Asli representatives from Tanah Tinggi Lojing,” he said.