The Plight of Orang Laut- Part 1

Kuala Masai, Johor

The Orang Laut (Sea Settlers) has been in Malaysia for many generations. They fish for a living, and stay on boats and houses on stilts.

Staying along the coast of the Straits of Johor, they saw their land been taken away forcefully for housing development.

The Orang Laut living in Kuala Masai had been forcefully moved from Stulang Laut, Johor. They were promised land and a place of worship but till today, 30 years later the promise has not been fulfilled.

In Kuala Masai, their livelihood is threatened, their fishing ground is polluted by oil and waste from the many factories in Masai, Kuala Masai, and Taman Megah Ria.

While in Stulang Laut, they can catch 100 kgs of fish, but now in Kuala Masai their catch is only 40 kgs.  The catch has to be shared by the four or five fishermen in the boat.

They have to go further out to sea too, as sea at the coast is too polluted.  But petrol had gone up from RM25 to RM60 per drum.

The Orang Laut have to pay for water, electricity and even buy their own boat.

According to the village representative, Wah Bin Baji, 42, the government had not given them the most basic amenities,  and he felt they have been robbed of their rights.

Video by: Christine Leong, Citizen Journalist Malaysia