by Wani Muthiah
from thestar.com.my 10 march 2009
SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has asked for the rights of the orang asli (aborigines) to be returned to them, especially with regards to their land which had been seized.
The state had come to a stage where the acknowledgement of the rights of every Selangorian has become the basic principle of its administration.
“This is important with regard to the land of the orang asli (aborigine) community,” he said in his opening speech at the state assembly sitting Tuesday.
“In the last few years, the orang asli community has undergone an erosion of identity and it is time their rights be returned to them with the resolution of their land problems.
“I want to stress the need to acknowledge and preserve orang asli land which had been seized from them in the last few years,” said the Sultan.
Sultan Sharafuddin also urged the state government to expedite the identification and gazetting of orang asli land.
“They should be given the land which is rightfully theirs,” he added.
The Sultan said the orang asli community had a rich history with its own tradition, culture, values and perspective — which need not be sacrificed in the name of development.
Sultan Sharafuddin also said the dialogue initiated by the state government with the orang asli community recently should be continued.
He also urged the state’s executive council members to declare their assets as soon as possible in line with good governance.
The declaration of assets should also be accessible to the public online, he added.
The Sultan also emphasised the need for good governance in all aspects of the state administration and added that the integrity and accountability practised by the current state government would be upheld.
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