KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — A total land area of 32,700 hectares has been gazetted as reserve land for Orang Asli communities nationwide, said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Another 20,000 hectares had also been approved by the state governments and waiting to be gazetted, he said.
He said the ministry through the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) had been striving to speed up the process to convert 134,000 hectares of Orang Asli settlements as reserve land to prevent encroachment and disputes over settlement for Orang Asli communities in the country.
“We have completed the surveying process on 74,629 hectares of the land and will submit them to the state governments for approval. Soon, all the Orang Asli settlement areas will be gazetted as reserve land except for two villages in Pahang, which are still being discussed,” he said in his speech at the Orang Asli Carnival here yesterday.
The three-day Orang Asli Carnival 2017, which began yesterday at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here, is aimed at highlighting to the public on the culture and traditions of the 18 Orang Asli tribes found in the country.
The carnival, which provides a platform for Orang Asli entrepreneurs to showcase their unique handicrafts and products, also focuses on the communities’ achievements in the academic and sports fields. — Bernama