Taskforce to review National Inquiry Report for Indigenous People

KUALA LUMPUR: A national taskforce headed by the Malaysian Institute of Integrity president, Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh will study the recommendations proposed in the ‘Report of The National Inquiry Into The Land Rights of Indigenous People’ conducted by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low who yesterday received the report from Suhakam’s president Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said it would be reviewed in a balanced and positive manner with the engagement of government ministries, agencies, relevant non-governmental organisations and stakeholders.

“There will be no specific timeframe for the review as it contains a great deal of recommendations. These will be brought to the attention of the parties involved to facilitate the best interests of Orang Asli,” he said in a press conference during the handover at the institute here.

He added that the government was adopting an open policy and would study possible solutions within its capacity.

Meanwhile, Hasmy said it took Suhakam 18 months to complete the inquiry at a cost of RM1,234,508.61.

The inquiry was carried out through a series of public hearings nationwide involving common issues such as customary land rights, farming, logging activities, forest reserve and compensation among others.

“We hope the taskforce is an affirmative action which will be bound within a time period and involve the participation of stakeholders and Orang Asli,” he said.

Suhakam has listed 18 recommendations related to six main issues namely recognition of customary land rights, remedy for lost land, imbalanced land development, prevention of customary land violations in the future, land administration and acknowledgement of the land as the Orang Asli’s pulse of identity.

Meanwhile a Temuan tribe member Faridah anak Goh Kam, 38, from Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia said she supported the setting up of the taskforce, but felt it should also include members from the Bar Council and Centre for Orang Asli Concerns, which was active in defending the rights of the Orang Asli in court.

Another representative Rizuan anak Tempek, 34, from the Semai tribe added that he hoped all the recommendations could be implemented as he believed Suhakam had put in a lot of effort into the inquiry. — Bernama

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