Concerned Organizations and Individuals Call on Malaysian Government to Protect the Rights of Orang Asli Community in Kampung Pos Lanai, Kuala Lipis, Pahang Darul Makmur
Malaysia – Today, the Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples (REP), Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (The Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, JOAS), the Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), along with 29 organizations and 112 individuals from around the world issued an open letter urging the Malaysian Government to protect the rights of the Orang Asli community from the Semai tribe in Kampung Pos Lanai, Kuala Lipis, Pahang Darul Makmur.
The Semai Tribe community has lived on the land in Kampung Pos Lanai since time immemorial, and they have a deep connection to this land, which is their customary land. They have lived and existed in this area as a separate and identifiable community for generations, practicing their traditional customs and culture. However, the community is now facing various profit-making projects and encroachments on their land without their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the Malaysian Government voted to adopt in 2007.
The latest threat to the Semai Tribe community is the proposed rare earth mining in the area, which will pollute their only source of water, Sungai Telom, and the groundwater. The community has opposed this project, but there is news that illegal mining attempts are still ongoing in the area. The community has been protesting against this project and other encroachments on their land for many years. They have also filed a civil action seeking a declaration that they are the holders of customary rights of the land under the Orang Asli Act 1954.
We urge the Malaysian Government to take immediate action to protect and support the Semai Tribe community in their fight for their rights to their land. Specifically, the Malaysian Government is called upon to respect the Orang Asli community’s rights to their customary land and forests and ensure that they are not forced to relocate from their land, take immediate action to stop the proposed rare earth mining in the area, take steps to declare the area as an Orang Asli Reserve under the Aboriginal Peoples Act (1954), and respect the indigenous community’s right to self-determination and FPIC (Free, Prior and Informed Consent) and of their cultural and spiritual connections to their land.
We also urge the Malaysian Government to recognize and respect the rights of the Semai-Orang Asli community in Kampung Pos Lanai, Kuala Lipis, Pahang Darul Makmur. We hope that the Malaysian Government will take these actions to protect the rights of the indigenous community and work with them to find a just and equitable solution to their situation.
For more information, please contact:
Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples