Pos Belatim Temiar get another chance in court

Published: 22 November 2014

The Court of Appeal, on Thursday 20th November 2014, ordered the High Court in Kota Baru, Kelantan to hear the case  of the Temiars in Pos Belatim for the rights to their traditional land. The land had been 'given' to a plantation company, Sigur Ros Sdn Bhd, to establish a Ladang Rakyat in their customary territories and that of neighboring Pos Dakoh.

The Temiars from Gua Musang district, through their solicitor Lim Heng Seng of Messrs. Lee Hishamudin Allen & Gledhill, had successfully filed a judicial review in 2011 that gave them the right to bring their case to court.

A discovery order was also later obtained requiring the state and federal authorities to disclose material facts and documents needed by the Orang Asli to argue their case.

This was not complied with, and the case, from the Orang Asli's perspective, could not go on (at least on a fair basis). The unwillingness of the Orang Asli to go on with the case without the discovered documents, however, prompted the judge to throw out the case.

The lawyers appealed this ruling and the Court of Appeal however ruled that this was a bad in law. The 3-judge panel ordered that the documents asked for in the original discovery order be given to the Orang Asli, and that the case be heard in the High Court. This is expected to be in the first part of 2015.

More on the case at: http://on.fb.me/1zO8niM

Colin Nicholas | 23 November 2014

Penghulu Anggah, the first plaintiff, at the Kota Baru High Court in 2011 speaking to reporters.
Penghulu Anggah, the first plaintiff, at the Kota Baru High Court in 2011 speaking to reporters.

Kamal and other Temiars from the neighbouring villages showing the community map of their territory during a protest at the State Secretariat in Kota Baru in January 2013.
Kamal and other Temiars from the neighbouring villages showing the community map of their territory during a protest at the State Secretariat in Kota Baru in January 2013.

Lawyer Lim Heng Seng with a special crafted gift from the Temiars outside the Kota Baru high court in 2011.
Lawyer Lim Heng Seng with a special crafted gift from the Temiars outside the Kota Baru high court in 2011.