Orang Asli families are about to lose their homes & forest , and no one is talking about it.
For years, the Orang Asli of Pos Lanai, Pahang have fiercely protested for their ancestral native customary land and their forest to be left alone.
The sanctity of their ancestral lands have been threatened countless times in the past, with the encroachment of logging companies, mining companies, dam construction, and river pollution-
Every single time it’s come under threat, Orang Asli families have protested passionately against the Pahang State Government for giving out logging and mining concession licenses.
They have sent letters, had physical demonstrations, and voiced dissent through the media. It took nearly 5 years of intensive protests for the latest Telom Dam project to finally be cancelled by the Government.
But now, right after their short-lived victory, their homes and forest on native customary land is threatened by mining activities yet again. JAKOA has given approval to conduct EIA studies on their land for mining purposes. It will be the worst and most destructive mining project thus far, involving 660 hectares of forest (equal to 924 football fields) and affecting families across six villages.
What will it take for the pleas of Orang Asli to be heard? Why are the voices of Orang Asli being silenced?
Enough is enough.
The Pos Lanai Orang Asli Semai have taken matters into their own hands- Now in a legal battle with Pahang State Government, they’re fighting for a declaration that compel the government to gazette their homes and forest as rightful native customary land, so it is permanently protected from encroachment.
They need justice. They need your support.
Donation Appeal: #JagaHakOrangAsli
The families in Pos Lanai need RM30,000 in legal fees to give them a fighting chance to save their home.
With almost 10,000 indigenous people living there at one point, Pos Lanai is the dear home of a community of Semai Orang Asli families. Located in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, this ancestral land is steeped in history- It was where British colonists built Fort Dixon around 1955, and where Orang Asli have preserved their traditional way of life for more than a hundred years - with their own culture of death rituals, marriage practices, beliefs of birth. They hold a profound respect for their forests; Upon entering it, it is forbidden to laugh or deride any animals, people, or other life within it. The land and river is precious, and the Orang Asli rely on it to sustain their livelihoods.
Encroachment of Mining and Logging Projects
An alleged plan to mine lanthanide- a rare earth metal- in the area has been met with fervent protest from the Orang Asli. The project will be detrimental to their forests- Mining lanthanide exposes deep earth dirt to the surface environment, which causes soil and river water contamination, while the process of separating lanthanide from mined soil leaves acidic and radioactive tailing.
Not only will this project destroy the environment of their ancestral land, it will jeopardise the livelihood of hundreds of families.
The Pos Lanai Orang Asli also face the threat of eviction - being forced to leave their home in the name of corporate profit. In past similar cases, this has led to community rot, as the Orang Asli are forced to move to places where they are cut off from the natural resources they depend on to survive, and get income.
Besides mining projects, the Orang Asli village is constantly subject to visits by logging companies with licenses from the Pahang State Government, who pressure the Orang Asli to ‘allow’ their encroachment.
Now, a legal battle between the Pahang State Governement and Jawatankuasa Bertindak Tanah dan Wilayah Adat OA Pos Lanai is ongoing- Not just for the immediate stop of the mining plan, but to protect their land against any other encroachment with a declaration that the land of Pos Lanai belongs to the Orang Asli according to their native customary rights.
There are some things that must never be touched and need to be protected. Every proposed “development project” onto the ancestral land is never for the people- It is done only to profit a small handful of corporations and state politicians. These forests mean everything to Orang Asli; taking it away from them means destroying their livelihood, home, history, and culture it is an act of violence.
Donate to protect the rights of Orang Asli.
Donate to make their voices heard.
Donate to save their homes.
Donate for justice.