Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Orang Asli receive individual land titles

For possibly the first time, 147 Orang Asli families were given something the original inhabitants of this land had never been given before: individual land titles. The handing-over ceremony at the Desa Temuan Bukit Lanjan community hall near here was to have marked the end of a 10-year development project by MK Land Berhad to bring the Orang Asli of Bukit Lanjan into the mainstream with an innovative compensation package.

It is also the beginning of a new way of empowering the Orang Asli and is set to become the yardstick by which other Orang Asli compensation schemes will be measured.

In the past, the Orang Asli as a community could not own land.

What ancestral land they had was held in trust for them by the Government.

If they were made to vacate the land for development, they would be compensated with land elsewhere — but the land was communal property. If an Orang Asli left the community, he left the land.

Which is what makes today’s handing over of individual title deeds so significant.

"What is special about today is that they have their own land — not reserve land. They own it. Individually," said MK Land chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar after handing over title deeds to 10 representatives of the community.

"This is one of my greatest successes — to be able to see this through to the end after 10 years of planning and 350 meetings between the company, the Department of Orang Asli Affairs and the Orang Asli village committee to come up with this programme," he said.

"This project is not so much about physical or structural development as it is about a mindset development — it is a paradigm shift.

"Not only have we taken them physically into town living, but we are also attempting to change the way they look at the world and at the role they have to play in it."

In 1995, MK Land bought all 256.44-hectares of the Orang Asli reserve land at Bukit Lanjan from the Government at a cost of RM91.8 million.

But instead of the sum going into the government treasury, the money was allocated for the resettlement and betterment of the Bukit Lanjan Orang Asli.

Under the compensation package, each of the 147 Bukit Lanjan Orang Asli families would be allocated a four or five-bedroom single-storey bungalow at Damansara Perdana to live in, a double-storey terrace house in Damansara Damai to rent out, and RM45,000 worth of Amanah Saham Bumiputera unit trusts.

Related Article @ New Straits Times
Related Article @ Malay Mail


Anonymous said...

"In 1995, MK Land bought all 256.44-hectares of the Orang Asli reserve land at Bukit Lanjan from the Government at a cost of RM91.8 million.". Have you seen the houses they built for the orang asli? Hard to imagine all of the RM91.8 million went there. Wonder what happened to the balance.

Malibu said...

Interesting....Can someone Answer where is the money??

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