A vocal Orang Asli rights group today is disputing the government’s move to amend the Aborigines Act 1954 in Parliament, alleging that the amendment was being made without their knowledge despite being a key stakeholder under the Act.
NONE“We object because no copy of the amendment was given to us,” said Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Villages Coalition (JKOASM) coordinator Tijah Yok Chopil (right) in a press conference today.
She said that the government has yet to engage with human rights activists, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and the Bar Council about the amendment.

“The government must hand over a copy of the amendment now, otherwise when they bring it to Parliament we wouldn’t even know its contents,” she said.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal was reported as saying on June 28 that the government will amend the Act in order to improve the protection for the Orang Asli community.

He said that the leglislation will be discussed in detail with Suhakam to ensure that it is implemented in a systematic and holistic manner.

He said that the improvements in the amendments will cover areas of rights along will culture, poverty, education and health, Malay daily 
Berita Harian reported.
Yesterday, Suhakam commissioner Dr Khaw Lake Tee was also reported as saying that the proposed amendment was yet to be discussed with the commission.

~ Malaysiakini