Putrajaya mulls legislating Orang Asli native land

Azril Annuar
Waytha Moorthy said tonight that the government is looking at the laws governing Orang Asli native land. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P. Waytha Moorthy said tonight that the government is looking at the laws governing Orang Asli native land.

Speaking on the sidelines of a forum, Waytha Moorthy said the government is taking the issue seriously, claiming Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is “quite concerned” about the rights of Orang Asli being trampled upon.

“It is really unfortunate that land matters come under the purview of the state government.

“However, the government is looking at the laws. We have consulted the attorney general to see what else can be done to protect the rights of the Orang Asli,” he said to reporters.

His remarks came after the Kelantan Forestry Department broke through the Orang Asli community’s blockade to prevent illegal logging in Gua Musang yesterday.

Waytha Moorthy also said that Rural Development Deputy Minister R. Sivarasa is trying to speak to the Kelantan state government, while a Cabinet discussion is also being held over the matter.

Yesterday, Kelantan Forestry Department personnel removed blockades set up by Orang Asli in Cawas, Kaleg and Kegeg.

The blockades were constructed to prevent loggers from entering their land.

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