Orang Laut woes never ends

The Orang Laut was asked to moved to Kuala Masai from their ancestor home in Stulang Laut.  They refused because they worried they will lose their land.  When the Director of the Department of Orang Asli (JHEOA) promised them water, electricity, houses and land, they moved in 2002.

They were promised a church, when that did not materialised after they were in Kuala Masai for four years, they built their own church in 2005.  A year after the completion the JHEOA and about 300 policemen came to tore down their church.

According to Kelah Bin Lan, 31, the Orang Laut felt like foreigners,  when the authorities treated them that way.  Where was their right?  What happened to their land?  According to him, the director told them Kuala Masai was not their land, it belongs to the Government.

The Kuala Masai Orang Asli took the case to court and won, but till today, they were not given the land.

He said, the government changed their identity card and birth certified by adding a ‘bin’ before their fathers’ names.  But according to him not all ‘bins’ are muslim, and eating out during the fasting month has caused them a lot of trouble.  

He said they do not want to be treated like rubbish, being thrown here and there.

Video by: Christine Leong, Citizen Journalist Malaysia

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