No Merdeka for Land Rights and Indigenous Rights

For Immediate Release
27 August 2018

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the demolition of the indigenous peoples’ blockade in Gua Musang, Kelantan and the forced eviction and demolition of a ranch in Bukit Tinggi, Klang by the state authorities of Kelantan and Selangor respectively.

The continued violation of customary land rights by the Kelantan state government is deplorable and untenable. The PAS led government in Kelantan must take cognizant of Malaysia’s obligations to international human rights especially those relating to customary land rights of the indigenous peoples. Furthermore, the Kelantan state government is also obliged to take into account the environmental impact resulting from the rampant deforestation taking place in Kelantan which have contributed to flooding and water pollution within the state. Thus far, the Kelantan state government have willfully ignored both matters.

Apart from the abject disregard for human rights and the environment by the Kelantan state government, the Federal Government have also failed to exert any pressure and to negotiate a resolution of the matter with the Kelantan state government. The assurance and the commitment by the Federal Government was betrayed by the fact that the Royal Malaysian Police has taken a role in supporting the demolition of the blockade in Gua Musang.

In Bukit Tinggi, Klang, the Selangor state government continue to ignore its obligations to human rights with cases of forced evictions by state authorities. Last year, SUARAM documented the demolition of Masjid Subang Airport and the surrounding residences after failure to provide a fair resolution for the occupants. Now, the same violation is inflicted on Mr. Thevindran who operates a ranch in Bukit Tinggi, Klang.

SUARAM reiterate our condemnation for the continued violation of human rights against these individuals and communities and call for both the Kelantan and Selangor state government to cease with their unconscionable actions and have a dialogue with the communities to achieve a fair resolution for those affected.

SUARAM calls for the Federal Government to ensure that no federal agencies or enforcement agencies would be utilized by state governments to do its dirty work of violating human rights via forcibly evicting occupants and demolishing community blockades. 

SUARAM would also like to remind the Pakatan Harapan administration on its obligations to safeguard human rights defenders and to ensure that human rights defenders are allowed to operate freely. To this end, SUARAM calls for the immediate release of all human rights defenders and political activists detained by the Royal Malaysian Police.

In Solidarity

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

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