Orang Asli ‘forgotten’ in Raub durian saga

The on-going durian saga in Raub seems to have alienated the most vital community in the area – the Orang Asli.

Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) coordinator Colin Nicholas said while the general public is for the durian farmers as they have worked on the land for years, the durian orchards were generally Orang Asli land.

“Before the communist time, before World War II, the Orang Asli were dominant there. The British started giving away lands without recognising the rights of the Orang Asli.

“That process of giving away Orang Asli land is still going on today. This is because the government does not recognise their customary rights to the traditional lands,” added Nicholas on the talkshow Serani Sembang aired last Saturday.

He added this problem has been going on “ever since people were administrating land”.

“For example, if you were a British planter 100 years ago, you could have applied for 1,000 acres of argiculture land and that’s how (Englishman Edward Valentine John) Carey got Pulau Carey … five Orang Asli villages there but the whole island now basically belongs to Sime Darby.”

Joining Nicholas on the YouTube show were former Universiti Malaya Department of Geography, Population Studies and Environmental Studies Programme lecturer Richard Dorall and host Vernon Adrian Emuang, a former television presenter and actor.

Nicholas added that if people really wanted to help the Orang Asli, they should enter into a relationship with the community.

“It’s not for me to tell you what they want or what you should do for them … you enter into a relationship, you communicate with them, then you find out what’s needed, or they will tell you

“But most people don’t do that. When issues arise, don’t listen to what people say, what the government says. Do your own research.”

A group representing the disgruntled farmers, Save Musang King Alliance, had last week denied allegations that farmers had encroached into Orang Asli land to plant durian trees. The group added if the claims were true then the farmers should vacate the land.

On Sept 4, Twentytwo13 highlighted that the durian saga in Pahang has been a series of missteps since Day One and has even raised the concern of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Royal Pahang Durian fiasco has opened a can of worms and may even threaten Malaysia’s dominance in the durian industry.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

MINISTER RINA HARUN FACES BANKRUPTCY SUIT

Twentytwo13, in an exclusive report today, revealed that Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun is being dragged into bankruptcy, threatening her political career as she owes a Paris-based film and television programme production company RM1.9 million for content purchased nearly a decade ago.

Sarl Novovision, famous for its comedy sketches, pranks and funny videos, had issued several invoices to Rina’s now-defunct companies Eurofine (M) Sdn Bhd, Fine Mobile Network Sdn Bhd and Fine TV Network Sdn Bhd between 2011 and 2013 for comedy shows and documentaries purchased under the comedy genre.

Rina and Ida Rahayu Md Noor were directors of the companies.

Fine Mobile Network, Fine TV Network and Eurofine were wound up on Aug 11, 2014, Dec 3, 2014 and Aug 10, 2015 respectively.

However, Rina and Ida Rahayu had on May 28, 2014 executed a joint and several personal guarantee agreement with Sarl Novovision that they would personally and jointly undertake all liabilities of the companies towards any or all outstanding dues payable to the French company.

NO MORE TOP-DOWN PLANNING BY BUREAUCRATS, SAYS TRANSPORT MINISTER

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said the ministry believes in taking a collaborative and consultative approach in transforming the transportation landscape to meet current and future needs.

“Gone are the days of rigid top-down planning by bureaucrats. Instead, we are embracing dynamic ideas from private businesses who closely track the shifts in industry trends and consumer demand – with the mutual goal of driving innovation and progress in the mobility landscape,” said Wee.

“The sharing economy holds great promise for Malaysians, improving resilience in a challenging economic climate.

Wee was commenting on Trevo – the latest app-based people-to-people (P2P) car-sharing marketplace – which is embracing the National Transport Policy 2019-2030’s vision to involve public participation and stakeholder engagement in the development of transport initiatives, and to embed robust evidence-based assessment in the planning and development of transportation.

Trevo is the first company to embrace the ministry’s call for mobility service providers to submit Proof of Concept (POC) research and has kicked off a multi-phase year-long POC exercise running from August 2020 to August 2021, which seeks to demonstrate the sustainability of P2P car sharing in Malaysia and strengthen its viability

“We look forward to the findings from Trevo’s exercise, and urge other private businesses wishing to introduce new concepts in transportation to submit relevant POC business proposals to the ministry,” Wee added.

HEART DISEASES, DIABETES AND CANCER CAUSE RM8.91B IN ANNUAL PRODUCTIVITY LOSSES

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, had cost the Malaysian economy losses of RM8.91 billion.

Quoting a new report from the Health Ministry and the World Health Organisation (WHO), Noor Hisham said the figure was estimated from productivity losses due to absenteeism in the workplace and the premature death of the working age population in Malaysia.

In a joint statement with WHO, Noor Hisham said: “NCDs also place a serious health burden to countries resulting from disability and loss of healthy life years, called the burden of disease costs. This is an intangible cost that is estimated to be around RM100.79 billion, equivalent to 7.35 per cent of GDP.”

MACC INVESTIGATING SG GONG POLLUTION

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has started investigating if there were corrupt elements which led to the pollution incident at Sungai Gong in Rawang, Selangor.

The commission said in a statement it will look into all aspects involving all parties, including enforcement agencies.

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