Demonstration by the Orang Asli of Negeri Sembilan
On Wednesday, I followed the Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) to a demonstration organized by the Orang Asli (indigenous minorities of Peninsular Malaysia) of the state of Negeri Sembilan, to hand a memorandum to the Chief Minister.
In the memorandum they protested against the new land policy which will would entitle them to only 2 acres of land per family, a lot less than their traditional land which they’ve lived on for generations. They also wanted the Chief Minister to apologize for describing them as squatters in the media a few weeks back.
A stronghold of 300 Orang Asli from Negeri Sembilan waited for 3-hours, insisting that the Chief Minister accepts the memorandum himself, as he does with other groups. He eventually spared 8-minutes of his time to accept the memorandum.
I mostly handled the video camera but grabbed a few shots on still when I could.
The crowd assembling at the Wisma Negeri dan Dewan Undangan in Seremban town.
A young Orang Asli boy wears the poster "Orang Asli ada Hak" (Orang Asli have Rights) as a hat. (Poster text: Recognize the Orang Asli's traditional territories).
Over 300 Orang Aslis attended the demonstration, including supporters from Malacca, Pahang and Selangor.
The noon sun beats down on everyone as they light an incense to seek blessings from their ancestors.
Women, old and young stood for 3-hours while they waited for the Chief Minister to receive their memorandum.
A passerby reads the signages on his way into the building.
The crowd was kept motivated with traditional songs which highlighted their struggle as they waited.
While some of the demonstrators sat down to rest and shade themselves from the sun, some of the women, fueled by their passion, remained standing and sang to motivate one another.
Ezuli Langkap speaks to reporters while waiting for the Chief Minister to come down.
The 7 representatves waited impatiently for the Chief Minister to arrive to accept the memorandum, after failed attempts of several representatives of the Chief Minister who offered to accept the memorandum on behalf of him.
Check out COAC’s Facebook page for news updates and more photos on the event:
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