Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Mustafa Along have given the best answer to Hadi who asked whether the Attorney-General’s civil suit against the Kelantan State Government was because of the Cameron Highlands by-election
Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and the chairperson of the Jaringan Kampong Orang Asli Kelantan Mustafa Along have given the best answer to the question by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, on the timing of Putrajaya’s move to sue the Kelantan state government over encroachment into Orang Asli land.
Hadi ask why the Federal government chose to bring up this issue during the Cameron Highlands by-election, implying that it was an old and forgotten issue.
Hadi said at a press conference: “Are they trying to campaign? Or did they really just thought it about now during the by-election, and never before this, when this is an old issue.”
Hadi and other PAS leaders have accused the Attorney-General Tommy Thomas of a political motive in the Cameron Highlands by-election in the federal government initiating legal proceedings on behalf of the Orang Asli in recognition of the federal government's constitutional and legal duty to protect and promote their wellbeing and advancement.
The Kelantan Orang Asli Community rubbished Hadi’s claims that the Pakatan Harapan government was suing the Kelangtan state government to win the Cameron Highlands by-election.
Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan chairperson, Mustafa Along, said discussions between the Temiar community in Gua Musang and the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Malaysian Bar have been ongoing since last October.
He said: "As such, claims that this lawsuit was purposely made due to the Cameron Highlands by-election are unfounded and unreasonable.
"This has been planned since before the Cameron Highlands by-election, and as such it should not be politicised for the interests of certain quarters as this involves the interests of the Orang Asli."
The 12-term Member of Parliament for Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah regarded the Federal government’s act of filing a civil suit against the Kelantan government as a “last resort” to resolve the long-standing problem concerning Orang Asli land in the state.
He said the Temiar folk in Pos Simpor have long staked a claim to their native customary land but were ignored by the Kelantan government.
He believed that the court action could open up room for the Temiar to be granted recognition as they have resided and worked the land themselves all this while.
He told reporters in Kelantan yesterday: “I’m not an expert in land law, but I feel that the state government should address the claims made by the Orang Asli.”
Tengku Razaleigh said the state government should have paid attention to the matter a long time ago. The Orang Asli land, he said, are diminishing due to intrusion.
He said: “They (Orang Asli) are defending their land. We should accord them the respect as they have been there for generations.
“Even if we were to weigh the situation from a land use perspective alone, they still have a right which we need to respect. We have to sympathise with them.”
Tengku Razaleigh agrees with the highlighting of the long-outstanding issue of the land rights of the Temiar in Gua Musang, Kelantan/
Will Hadi advise the PAS Kelantan State Government to recognise the Kelantan State government’s constitutional and legal duty to protect the well-being and advancement of the rights and interests of the Orang Asli in Kelantan?