Orang Asli claim 'Ladang Rakyat' deprive them of their income
GUA MUSANG: The Orang Asli settlers in Pos Balar near here said they had lost their source of income when their 100-hectare rubber plantation was cleared by a company appointed by the Kelantan PAS government to develop the 'Ladang Rakyat'.
Sugi Alang, 26, said most of the land cultivated by the Orang Asli for the past 20 years had been planted with rubber and other crops but the company developing the 'Ladang Rakyat' had cut down their rubber trees.
He said the state government should have intervened to resolve the land issue there instead of giving priority to a foreign company.
Another settler, Samri Talib, 30, said he was worried because the water catchment area on a hill there had been destroyed after all the forest had been cleared for the estate.
The State Assemblyman for Galas, Abdul Aziz Yusoff, said he had received many complaints from the Orang Asli on similar incidents in the Lojing, Pos Brooke, Bihai, Pulat, Pasik and Kuala Betis areas.
He said he would raise the matter at the Umno divisional meeting so that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, as the division head, could take subsequent action.
Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said the land had been acquired because there was no boundary stone and the state government had approved the application from the company concerned because it was under the impression that no one owned the land.
He said the Kelantan government would set up a committee to investigate the problem that arose.
Ladang Rakyat chief executive officer Dr Nazmi Ghazali Azmi, said the Ladang Rakyat project in Gua Musang did not involve the Orang Asli settlement. -- BERNAMA
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