The lawyer who stands up for Orang Asli
Despite a blockade set up by the Orang Asli to prevent logs from being taken out from their Balah forest reserve in Gua Musang, the Kelantan state government has continued to defend logging in the area.
Kelantan Menteri Besar Ahmad Yakob was reported earlier this month arguing there was no reason for the state government to stop the logging since it was approved by the state.
However, lawyer and activist Siti Kasim told a forum on the predicament of the Orang Asli that there were other more sustainable ways of logging.
And oil palm planting is definitely not one of them as such trees are unable to hold in water, she pointed out.
“That’s why the environment is affected,” said Siti, who was one of the panellists in last night’s forum held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).
Commenting on the blockade, Siti said two police reports have since been lodged against her.
I was surprised why there were police reports lodged against me - they say I’m the one who organised the blockade.”
According to her, there was a need to find a scapegoat in the clash as the Kelantan
government was trying to cover up its mistakes.
“The blockade was not my idea. I went in as a lawyer; I have been going into (Orang Asli areas) for a couple of years, explaining (to them) their rights.
“If they call me an instigator because I explain the rights of the Orang Asli, (then) I’m proud of being called an instigator,” she said...
These PAS leaders do not know or don't bother with the RIGHTS of the indigenous people, they are even worse than the Umno people. The land being owned by the natives are theirs and the cutting across their land to state land is an infringement of their land rights as well! And cutting timber around their land also affect their water catchment areas and their land. Better the PAS give up administrating Kelantan and go about the Taliban-style religion, they even supported one of their members who died for ISIS, showing that their ideology is far from that of ISIS. They are DANGEROUS - now pushing for HUDUD law to be administered in the whole of Malaysia!!!! For the se people the end justify the means. Let PH and the Opposition parties stay away from them - they are BAD news!!!