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Land policy for Orang Asli to be reviewed: Shafie

PUTRAJAYA: Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal assured the Orang Asli community that the quantum proposed under their new land allocation scheme would be reviewed.

He said the new land policy for Orang Asli would be reviewed, including the proposed allocation of 2.4 ha per family, for cultivation and 0.1 ha to build their house.

"We are still gathering feedback from the Orang Asli community throughout the country since discussions with various parties is still ongoing. The proposed allocation is also not final," he told reporters after a meeting Orang Asli members from all over the country here on March 17.

Shafie said the review was needed as some of them were cultivating big land areas for generations and those areas were bigger than the proposed land area.

"Since the terms, conditions and authority differ from state to state, it need to be studied carefully as well," he said.

In Malaysia, there are about 140,000 Orang Asli divided into 18 ethnic groups.

As for requests from the Orang Asli community to appoint a senator in Dewan Negara, Shafie said their request would be given due consideration.

Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli Association (POASM) President Majid Suhut said the review was necessary because the proposed allocation was not accepted by the Orang Asli community.

Meanwhile, about 2,000 members of POASM and Non Governmental Organisations gathered at Dataran Perdana, in front of the Prime Minister's Department at about 2pm on March 17 to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun

Razak.

Majid Suhut later handed over the memorandum to the Prime Minister's special officer Datuk Ghazali Ibrahim.

The memorandum was a protest against the proposed amendment to Act 134 of the National Land Act which protestors claim will limit the allocation of land to six to eight acres for each Orang Asli household, whereas many were already cultivating bigger land areas for generations, said Majid Suhut. -- Bernama
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