Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Orang Asli arrested for defending ancestral land

11:11AM Sep 17, 2014
By Anjulie Ngan
An Orang Asli man was arrested by police for when he lodged a report that "outsiders" were trespassing on his ancestral land in Pulau Carey.

According to eyewitnesses, Roslan Ligam, 53, was arrested at around 3pm yesterday and taken to the Banting police station.

"We were told he was arrested because he was trespassing on land that belonged to others and his statement is required to assist on a police report made by them,” his son Samsudin, 30, told Malaysiakini today.

A group of villagers have gathered at the police station to show support for Roslan this morning.

Samsudin said that the disagreement over the land in Kampung Bakar, home to about 50 Mah Meri people, has been going on for more than a year.

He said his father had lodged three police reports against the "trespassers" since Sept 16 last year.

The police, however, did not take any actions on the previous three reports lodged.

"The Orang Asli have lodged many reports on people trespassing our land, but no action was ever taken by the police," he alleged.

According to villager Kisah anak Aken, a couple came to the village yesterday morning and started measuring the plot of land, informing villagers that it is for a Hindu temple.

Kisah said he saw a backhoe entering the village compound at noon and digging the land which was located about 200 meters from the village community hall, about 10 meters away from his wife's burial site.

Kisah said he was "yelled at and threatened with long metal poles by two men" on the backhoe.

He said that one by the name of "Supiah" yelled, "Kalau kamu tak pindah kubur kamu itu, saya akan ambil semua kawasan kamu!" (If you do not move your grave, I will take all your land!).

Roslan then lodged a police report, only to find himself arrested, when the police came.

The villagers claimed that the land, although not listed under the Orang Asli Reserve, has been occupied by the Mah Meri tribe for hundreds of years.

Despite numerous attempts, the Banting district police could not be reached for comment.

~ Malaysiakini

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