Ramli Mohd's Efforts in Advocating for the Social Welfare of Orang Asli


Indigenous Peoples, Source: AI

Infrastructure development is vital for a country's progress and prosperity, but it becomes contentious when it involves land that rightfully belongs to indigenous peoples. This is the persistent struggle faced by the Orang Asli community in Malaysia.

 Conflicts between the Orang Asli and state governments over land use persist, as logging companies require permits from local authorities.

 Despite being the original inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli across the country face the recurring threat of land eviction.

 In response, Cameron Highlands MP Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor has proposed amending Orang Asli social assistance to address issues related to land management and economic development within the Barisan Nasional coalition.

 Land ownership that has never been confirmed

 Land ownership disputes often arise due to the absence of official legal recognition. There are currently no specific laws protecting the land rights of indigenous communities.

 Quoted from Malaysiakini.com's interview with Ramli Mohd, he said, “There are two important things to solve this problem - by requesting a Federal Constitutional Regulation, and secondly, having the political courage to do it."

 Why does this need to be done?

 The welfare of the native people is in the hands of the central government

 Ramli Mohd emphasized the need for a Federal Constitutional Regulation and political determination to address these issues. He highlighted that the welfare of the Orang Asli solely falls under the central government's responsibility, while the state authorities, responsible for land management, are not mandated to safeguard the interests of the Orang Asli.

 As a member of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), Ramli Mohd championed the cause of the Orang Asli during the UMNO General Assembly, highlighting the imbalance of power between the federal and state governments concerning the Orang Asli's welfare and land rights.

 Former senior officers of the Royal Malaysian Police have suggested amending the Federal Constitution to accord joint powers to the Orang Asli.

Indigenous People, Source: AI

 Ramli Mohd's continuation in fighting for the rights of Orang Asli

 In 2024, the Perdana Batin Assembly and the 2024 Orang Asli Village Development and Security Committee (JPKKOA) were established at the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur levels, under the Orang Asli Development Department (JAKOA) which operates under the Ministry of Regional Development and Poor Communities (KKDW).

 "Our goal is to make the responsibility for maintaining the First Program for Indigenous Peoples, which is the responsibility of the government, a shared responsibility," he said.

 To further explain the aims of this reform, Ramli said that in the future he would hold several meetings in various regions on the island.

 Ramli Mohd reiterated the necessity for shared responsibility in maintaining government-led programs for the Indigenous Peoples. He expressed a commitment to host multiple meetings across different regions to further clarify the objectives of this reform.

 The issue of state authority over land ownership remains an ongoing challenge. Proposals to amend the Federal Constitution persist, with strong support from the current government that is expected to ensure the passage of the joint bill before the end of its term.

Forest, Source: AI

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