Malaysiakini KiniGuide

KiniGuide to Orang Asli blockades in Gua Musang

KiniGuide  |  Published:  |  Modified:

KINIGUIDE The tussle between the Orang Asli community and loggers in Gua Musang has dragged on for years, but it reached boiling point early this month when 54 Orang Asli were arrested for setting up blockades.

Undeterred by the arrests, the Orang Asli community has rebuilt the blockades after authorities dismantled them and are determined to tackle logging activities on what they claim is their ancestral land.

Malaysiakini takes a look at the tussle and why it has become confrontational.

Who are the Orang Asli in Gua Musang?

The Orang Asli community involved in the tussle with loggers in Gua Musang come from the Temiar tribe.

The Temiar tribe, with a population of around 20,000, is one of 18 Orang Asli groups in Peninsular Malaysia.

Some in the Temiar community have adopted an urban way of life, but a substantial number still reside within the forest reserves covering the state borders of Perak, Pahang and Kelantan.

Those living within the forest reserves are highly dependent on their natural environment, from which they forage for fruits and animals for food.

What’s going on in the permanent forest reserves?

Contrary to popular belief, logging in forest reserves is allowed.

The Forestry Department sets an annual limit on how much a state can log.

The logged trees must also be replaced with newly-planted ones.

The size of the permanent forest reserve in Kelantan has remained largely unchanged since 2008, at 623,849 hectares...

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