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Kelantan Forestry Department Issues Ultimatum To Orang Asli Activists

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PETALING JAYA – Five and a half weeks after setting up their blockade over logging activities in Gua Musang, the orang asli activists have been issued an ultimatum by the Kelantan Forestry Department.

The state Forestry Department issued a notice dated Nov 6, giving the activists, who hail from the Temiar tribe, two weeks to vacate the blockade.

The notice warned that action could be taken on the blockaders under Section 32 of the National Forestry Act 1984 (Amendment 1993), which carries a jail term of not more than five years or a fine of not more than RM5,000 or both.

“In relation to that, sir/madam is given a period of 14 days to vacate the premise and activities engaged in Compartment 245 of the Balah forest reserve,” read the notice.

The notice period ends Nov 20, and if the orang asli activists do not vacate, the blockades will be taken down by the Forestry Department.

The notice not only calls on the orang asli to vacate the blockade but also “any permanent forest reserve in Kelantan without the authorisation of the Kelantan Forestry Department”.

It is unclear if action will be taken against those not involved in the blockade as the state Forestry Department has generally turned a blind eye to the movement of the orang asli in and out of forest reserves, despite them not holding documented authorisation.

“The Kelantan Forestry Department is not responsible for any damage or loss of property while the demolition operations take place and no reparation will be paid,” according to the notice. – The Star Online

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