Is the logging legal or illegal? In Malaysia
Center for Orang Asli ) Concerns Thursday February 7, 2019
PERAK STATE, Malaysia – Despite several requests by the Temiars (Orang Asli – Indigenous People) of Kampung Tasik Asal Cunex for the loggers to show them the logging permit or licence, none was shown to the Temiars. Instead they were told the state EXCO had already approved the logging.
However, according to Free Malaysia Today (FMT), the State EXCO for Environment, Abdul Aziz Bahari, said yesterday that he was not involved in this matter and that he did not know how the decision was made on the logging. The Menteri Besar is expected to make a statement on the matter today.
Logging works already ongoing despite uncertainty over its legality.
Also, according to FMT, as far as the Perak Forestry Department is concerned, the logging at Kampung Tasik Asal Cunex has been approved by the state government.
This is what the Temiars are unhappy about. They were not consulted on the proposed logging, let alone informed of its apparent approval.
Even so, with or without a permit, the Temiars are determined not to allow any logging on their customary lands. They have seen the effect and destruction of an earlier logging foray in the 1980s and are determined not to let it happen again.
A stop-work order needs to be put in place until all uncertainties are clarified and indigenous rights respected.
In the meantime, the Director-General of JAKOA, Ajis Sitin, had today called for suspension of all logging activities near Orang Asli settlements until the government has conducted its proposed roundtable to overcome the issue of land encroachment. This was on the instructions of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, P. Waytha Moorthy.
[Photos by Azhar, Johari, Omar & Rajen of Kampung Cunex and Colin, Albert, Cabrini & Dayoung of COAC.]
CN-COAC | 7 February 2019