The Kelantan state government recently directed a halt to all forms of exploitation of indigenous lands in the state.
The state’s Chief Minister Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat approved the directive after discussing the matter with human rights lawyers and representatives from the Ladang Rakyat programme, under which native lands have allegedly been ploughed into.
“As of now, even measurement works have been halted in all native lands,” said human rights lawyer Augustine Anthony, who was representing the natives.
Another lawyer, Bah Tony, believes that there have been mistakes in the implementation of the Ladang Rakyat programme.
“It was agreed upon when the programme was first started that native lands should be excluded. But the implementation did not work out the way it was supposed to,” he said.
The programme’s CEO Dr Haji Nazmi meanwhile stated that the stop-work directive was issued long ago.
“The order was actually issued a long time ago, but for some reason, it hasn’t reached the developers,” he said.
He also revealed that the state government and related bodies will enter into a discussion soon in order to determine native land rights.