Another Orang Asli Church to be Demolished
Published: 19 September 2010
Orang Asli Department asks for work on church building to be stopped
The Christians in the Temiar village of Pos Pasik, about 70 km northeast of Gua Musang Kelantan, have been told by the Department of Orang Asli Affairs (JHEOA) that they have no permission to build a church on their land.
On 20 May 2010, the village head wrote to the Director-General of the JHEOA to inform him of their plan to build the church in their village, half of whom have converted to Christianity in recent years.
However, on 9 August 2010, the Deputy Director-General, writing on behalf of the D-G, replied that their “application” to build the church had been rejected and the community was asked to stop work on the building immediately.
The Orang Asli are not happy with this answer as they did not seek permission from the JHEOA. They merely exercised courteousy to inform them of their plans. The Orang Asli of Pos Pasik consider it their right to build such a structure on their land, in accordance with the Constitution.
The lawyer representing the Temiar headman has recently written to the D-G informing him that the department’s permission was not being sought. He also sought the reasons for the rejection of the church building.
If the church is demolished or stopped, it will be the second Orang Asli church in the state of Kelantan (and no less than 5 in the peninsular altogether) that have been demolished by the authorities on the basis of various excuses, including that the Orang Asli do not have rights to the land concerned.
But it is evident that the issue is religion-related as other structures, including suraus, have been build on such lands without any issue.
But as land is a state matter, the Temiars of Pos Pasik are seeking the intervention of the Menteri Besar of Kelantan in this matter.
For further details, please contact: Pastor Moses Soo – 012 3255678
Go to www.coac.org.my for more information and pictures.