GUA MUSANG: Several NGOs have rejected the accusation that they had incited the Orang Asli to fight the Kelantan government and erect blockades to stop logging activities.
Pertubuhan Perlindungan Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) chairperson Sharifah Sabrina Syed Akil said the NGOs present in Gua Musang were not there to pursue personal interests, but to give the Orang Asli moral support.
“We did not incite anyone and we are not involved in any political parties.
“We were there to support the Orang Asli in defending their native land.
“Peka will be present whenever the Orang Asli are being oppressed, no matter who is against us,” Sharifah told FMT.
“It is unfair of the government to accuse the NGOs of inciting the Orang Asli.
“The Orang Asli can think and decide for themselves who is right and wrong.”
The PAS-led state government had said certain parties had incited the Orang Asli to oppose the government.
Sharifah said Peka had sent memorandums about the Orang Asli’s plight to the Kelantan government years ago, but had received no response.
“We have sent memorandums to the menteri mesar asking the government not to destroy the forests. We said we could find other ways to power the economy besides logging, but we have had no response to this day,” she said.
Mustafa Along, one of the activists recently released from police detention, also denied the Orang Asli had been incited.
“We did this because we love our forests. Those who say we were incited to fight back are lying.”