Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bar Council President praises Nizar's administration of Perak

[This excellent letter from Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan to the Bar Council Bulletin was posted on What A Lulu...]

Letter to the editor: Protection of the rights of the underprivileged must continue

THE shocking display of vitriol against Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin of Perak by certain groups claiming to advance patriotism in Perak is a disconcerting trend.

In a modern and robust democracy such as we claim to be, threats against those who hold different views, seek to enforce their legal rights, or seek to challenge authority in a court of law are seriously misplaced. We cannot, on the one hand, claim to be a modern democracy that respects dissenting views, and on the other, ask for archaic modes of "punishment" (like chasing someone out of the state) for holding those views.

It is also necessary to remember that under Nizar's administration in Perak, many significant steps forward were taken on issues that affect the Orang Asli and other underprivileged and marginalised groups.

I write this piece to put on record what I believe to be the most significant events from a human rights perspective: events that members of the Malaysian Bar and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were pleased to be part of. Issues that had remained outstanding for many years saw quick resolution in the last 10 months in Perak under Nizar's administration.

They include the following:

  • As menteri besar, Nizar cancelled all logging and plantation activities in Orang Asli settlements around Gopeng that affected more than 2,000 Orang Asli.
  • State exco and assemblyperson A Sivanesan announced the return of approximately 400 acres of Orang Asli ancestral land to the Orang Asli that had been earmarked for logging activities by the previous government in Mukim Teja near Gopeng.
  • The state government announced the return of approximately 500 acres of Orang Asli ancestral land to the Orang Asli of Kampung Chang, Sungai Gepai in Bidor, which had been earmarked for a Botanical Garden by the previous government.
  • A special task force on Orang Asli land rights was set up to formally recognise all Orang Asli customary land in Perak. The task force committee comprised two tiers. The second tier was exclusively managed by the Orang Asli communities themselves, and meeting halls in the state secretariat building were provided to the Orang Asli for their use.
  • The administration commissioned a special Orang Asli officer for the state of Perak whose function was to resolve all problems of the Orang Asli within the state.
  • A series of consultations with the public and NGOs on development activities in Ipoh was held. For example, public opinion was sought in relation to the proposed development of Yau Tet Shin Market.
  • Both Malay and Chinese [Malaysian] residents of new villages and Kampung Tersusun are now being granted permanent land titles in stages.

The Malaysian Bar must put these events on record as we have worked for years on some of these issues and were happy to see positive results achieved in a short span of time.

We hope that the same importance will be given to these matters and that they will continue to progress without delay. In fact, we call on all state governments to be proactive in relation to issues that concern the Orang Asli, the marginalised and the underprivileged.

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
Malaysian Bar
11 February 2009


IGGY / JERRY said...

This is what you get from a leader who worships God the Almight. Previous BN goverments worship money so whatever they do is evil. This is proof of their doings. The bloody know that the land belongs to the Orang Asli ( the real bumiputras) and they need it for their survival. But because they worship money, they are corrupted to the core and allow logging and other activities there without a single consideration for the Orang Asli. Be cool and wait for GE13 where you will once again regain control of this Silver state. The state where my mom delivered me about 40 years ago.

Anonymous said...

While writing impressive letters/sharp tongue lashing critisms commending this and that and condemning this and those are good initial first efforts in responsibility and accountability , where are the follow up actions , the critical tipping points that make a difference to productive or sinfully wasteful pursuits and tons of highly paid hot air?

Good seasoned jounalists/highly paid-people-that-be must not only seek to inform but to also be able to galvanise resources to make a difference and not report for reportings' sake or because it is their job to report or to write , something which I suspect the honorable Bar council member & many more like her ( aka ktemoc,JY et el) are won to do, which is not much different than that despicable forte of the evil politician. Are we able to differentiate between grey and white or black or the so so or the worst that Humbug loud mouth fler aka K-singh)?

For you to bravely include this piece will befall upon you the next follow up responsibility/watching brief to see what comes out of it or as they say , will it yet again be forgotten in the next 14 days ? until maybe next tsunami Kedah falls again ?

honest broker

Unknown said...


i strongly agree with the effort of protecting the land and orang asli from being adultered. i however am not sure of the "marginalised and the underprivileged" thing though.

orang asli (as i personally know them or maybe i don't know them enough) has this faith/belief/religion that is as equivalent to those aborigines in australia - dreamline.

being with them and having quite some arguments, who is being marginalised and underprivileged depends on how one look at things as a whole. according to them ... we (the so-called modern people ... yikes) are the one who is being marginalised and underprivileged.

seriously, i think how orang asli look at economy and socialogy makes more sense than we (errmmm the so called modern people ... yikes) do.

still, maybe i don't know them enough.

anyway, i must agree to all effort that preserve the land and orang asli. i don't think i can compromise something otherwise.

Ted Torrence said...

96% Wanted Fresh Poll In Perak

Anonymous said...

Zeitgeist day: March 15th 2009

Anonymous said...

Buffalo plane Crash: A convenient Crash?

Beverley Eckert who waived her compensation right to persue a Government investigation into the 911 attacks is dead, she dies in the Buffalo Plane crash. She set up the website 911voices to persue Government reforms and a FULL investigation into the Terror attacks of 911

She said before the crash "Her silence could not be bought"

Anonymous said...

Mohd Nizar tried to do a good job but forgot about maintaining relationship with the palace. That's the cause of his downfall!

Anonymous said...

Dear Antares,

The Bar has done well by highlighting what the PR government has done for the Orang Asli, a highly marginalised group. Appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Thank you also for your interesting note on my blog about a certain renegade blog-site and the controversy and speculation surrounding it.

Anonymous said...

HEY ! orang2 ASLI (genuine owners), pls SHOW your gratitude & thankfulness lag, ok !!

Anonymous said...

i think ah the sultan not happy with : 1) Lks for opposing him appointing
the mb nizar;
2) nizar for transferring the islamic director elsewhere ; &
3) polo ground not up to standard when he goes walking; &
4)......( dun know yet) !

Anonymous said...

JUst like in Peninsular Malaysia, the decadent regime in East Malaysia does the same thing. take lands from the indigenuous and give it for free to his cronies. He is now so scare that his empire is crumbling due to his corrupt and evil ways that he now bans PKR politicians from entering his state.
Good will always triump over evil, its just a matter of time. Even BN"s favourite friend Mugabe realises that now.

Anonymous said...

updated : the speaker has SUSPENDED the zombie & 6 exco !