JOAS briefs MPs on Orang Asal issues

Published: 21 June 2015

Leaders and representatives of the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia, JOAS, had a briefing session for Members of Parliament on 17 June 2014. 

Although all parliamentarians were invited, the 20 who attended the briefing were mainly from the PKR component parties and the sole PSM member.

Jannie Lasimbang, the JOAS Secretariat Director, provided the overview of the issues facing the Orang Asal and conveyed JOAS's recommendations and petitions. 

Among the others who provided updates on the local situation and answered queries from the MPs and press were JOAS President Thomas Jalong, Fatimah Bah Sin, Adrian Lasimbang, Yusri Ahon, Nasir Dollah and Colin Nicholas.

The JOAS delegates from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia also presented updates from the findings of the Suhakam National Inquiry on Orang Asal Land Rights as well as on the issues surrounding the development of mega dams in their regions.


Among other topics discussed at length, particularly with MPs facing such issues in their constituency, included:

1. Research on Laws and Customary Tenure
2. The issue of Communal Titles
3. Review of Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA) 
4. Absence of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) from Orang Asal in development projects

While JOAS welcomed the Cabinet's decision to set up a Cabinet Committee on Orang Asli Land Issues following its review of the Task Force recommendations (on the Sukaham National Inquiry on Land Rights issues), JOAS and the MPs present agreed that a Cabinet committee may not be transparent enough to get the needed results. Neither will such a committee involve experts and indigenous peoples themselves. 

A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Orang Asal Issues would be preferred instead.

More photos at this link:

[Photos by Colin Nicholas, Puah Sze Ning & Koong Hui Yein and Edmund & Jack from DAP]

COAC | 22 June 2015