Monday, August 5, 2013

Task force to look into Suhakam findings on native land rights - The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: A special task force will be set up to look into the outcome of the National Inquiry into the Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low.

The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) conducted the inquiry following numerous complaints as well as memorandum from the orang asli community on the violation of their human rights, especially on customary land rights.

The report on the 18-month inquiry was publicly released yesterday. More than 6,500 indigenous peoples participated in public consultations during the inquiry.

Suhakam has come up with 18 recommendations following the inquiry, including recognising indigenous customary rights to land, having redress mechanisms for land loss and preventing future loss of native customary rights to land.

"There is a high degree of frustration and anger among indigenous communities for the inadequate response and ongoing violation of the rights conferred on them.

"Despite having provisions which recognise their land rights in the Federal Constitution, domestic and international laws, systemic issues have denied them the full enjoyment of their legal and human rights," the report stated.

Low said the report would not be tabled in Parliament yet.

He added that the task force would be given time to thoroughly study the vast recommendations and raise it with the relevant government agencies.

Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Negri Sembilan representative Zurdi Baharu, who was also present, called for the report to be tabled in Parliament "as soon as possible" given the seriousness of the issue.
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