On March 17, 2010 the OA community took over Putrajaya for a walk and what seemed to be the biggest gathering of OA ever. This peaceful protest and show of unison by the community was in response to yet another Government move that ignores their rights.
The OA protest recently in Malaysia’s administrative capital was an amazing and historic event. The 2,000 strong congregation from 8 states took to the streets reminiscent of the Walk For Justice (see video here).
They gathered to assert their rights, and to voice their concerns and opposition over the proposed policy to amend the Aboriginal Peoples Act that will see much of their rights to their ancestral lands stripped away. The amendments are being moved without their full and informed consent. Shocking stories have also been circulating that the authorities are not giving the OA the full picture when explaining the amendments to them.
Two memoranda endorsed by about 12,000 OA were submitted to the Prime Minister through the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, Shafie Apdal.
The pictures below are from the Centre For Orang Asli Concerns (COAC). It really pains me to see the way the OA are being treated – both here in Peninsula Malaysia and in East Malaysia.
The Malaysian Bar stands in solidarity with the OA. Our resolution on the OA is here (Item 7.2).
Can’t we treat the indigenous with the respect that they deserve?
Wonder how the 700-odd OA community in Hulu Selangor would vote?
Editorial Note: Photographs reproduced with permission, courtesy of Colin Nicholas, Jenita Engi, and Wak Ela of COAC (Centre For Orang Asli Concerns) Read more at www.coac.org.my.
Related Internet Links:
Orang Asli want bigger voice – Sun2Surf
Our land, our life – Sun2Surf