IPOH, July 29 — Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu today said that there is no such thing as ancestral land for Orang Asli under the state constitution.
Ahmad Faizal said that there is no specific land gazetted for any races in the state.
He said this when asked to comment on the recent media reports, which claims that the Rangkaian Pembangunan Kesinambungan Malaysia (Susden) and Minister in the Prime Minister Department P. Waytha Moorthy has urged all the state governments to show concern on the welfare of Orang Asli by recognising their ancestral land.
“As far as I know as a Mentri Besar and a Perakian, we don’t have ancestor land for Orang Asli here... this is very clear,” he told a press conference after attending the “Jasamu Dikenang” programme at the Meru Casuarina Hotel here.
“We have laws and constitutions that we need and are abiding too. But if a certain non-governmental organisation wanted to fight for the Orang Asli ancestor land... how if the other races also made similar demands?
“So in the end, do we need to divide the land and give to all the races? This will end in improper developments in the future, where it will not follow the government’s planning and it is really worrying,” he added.
Ahmad Faizal also said that the state government has no conflict with Orang Asli community, whose population is about 60,000, here.
“Our relationship with them is good. Only in certain areas there are some misunderstandings, for example, in Hulu Perak, a small group of Orang Asli created a blockade to avoid logging companies to enter their place.
“Issues in Orang Asli community vary from place to place. Therefore, groups which are championing the plight of Orang Asli in a certain area don’t generalise them as a whole as though representing the entire population. Don’t provoke any conflict among races,” he said.
Ahmad Faizal also urged the NGOs to approach the government on this matter instead of discussing it on social media.
“We are willing to listen to them and hear their suggestions, but don’t talk in social media that the government or royal families are not concerned about a particular race. This is not healthy and very dangerous,” he said.