"Sebagai peguam Muslim, saya terus terang bahawa saya selalu menyampah dengan Majlis Peguam dalam pelbagai isu. Tapi, ada isu-isu seperti penentangan terhadap ISA yang saya turut setuju. Terbaru, Majlis Peguam menyatakan sokongan kepada Nizar dan menggariskan 7 jasa besar Nizar yang sangat dihargai oleh Majlis Peguam TETAPI mungkin mengundang kemarahan parti politik dan institusi tertentu. Mari kita lihat bersama.
"From Nut Graph, 11 February 2009-
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. (SELAMATKAN TANAH 2,000 ORANG ASLI DARI PEMBALAKAN)
- 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. (PEMULANGAN 400 EKAR TANAH ORANG ASLI MUKIM TEJA)
- 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. (PEMULANGAN 500 EKAR TANAH ORANG ASLI KAMPUNG CHANG)
- 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. (PENUBUHAN JAWATANKUASA MENGIKTIRAF JAK ORG ASLI)
- 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. (PELANTIKAN PEGAWAI ORG ASLI)
- 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. (SURVET PENDAPAT MASYARAKAT SEBELUM PENUBUHAN 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. (PEMBERIAN HAK MILIK KEKAL KEPADA MELAYU DAN CINA DI KAMPUNG TERSUSUN)
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.
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
11 Feb 2009"