ORANG ASLI DEATHS: TIME TO HONOUR OUR ORIGINAL PEOPLE

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 12 June 2019

The latest deaths of 14 Orang Asli from the Bateq tribe, the country’s last indigenous nomadic community in Kuala Koh, Kelantan, with scores more hospitalised is a tragedy Malaysians should be ashamed of. The Orang Asli are the original people of Peninsula Malaysia whose ancient ancestry in these lands qualifies them as more authentically “Bumiputera” than the “pendatangs” who came later yet claim to be exclusively Bumiputera. Nonetheless, ever since Independence, the Orang Asli have been increasingly marginalised and deprived of their rights to land and resources, poisoned by profits-seeking loggers, miners, plantation owners, dam builders and other so-called “developers”.

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