Kelantan govt urged to gazette land areas for Orang Asli settlements

KOTA BHARU, March 21 — The Kelantan government has been urged to gazette specific areas for Orang Asli settlements so that the minority community will not continue to be afflicted by logging activities.

Ab Aziz Yusoff (BN-Galas) said the state government should consider a few things before approving logging activities, including related to water catchment areas, Orang Asli farming areas, Orang Asli burial grounds and Orang Asli ‘roaming’ areas.

“When these matters are neglected, then the anxiety and anger of the indigenous peoples are aroused.

“This resulted in restrictions (a blockade) being put in place barring loggers from entering logging areas,” he said when debating the motion of thanks for the Regent of Kelantan’s address during the State Assembly sitting here today.

On Oct 3, last year the state government issued an order to suspend logging in Hutan Simpan Kekal Balah after more than 200 Orang Asli blocked the entry and exit route of timber lorries in Kampung Petei since Sept 26, last year.

The indigenous group called on all logging activities in Balah permanent forest reserve near their settlement be stopped, claiming it damaged the environment and the extinction of forests adversely affected their livelihood. — Bernama

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