Friday, 11 May 2012

Orang Asli wins bid to fight church demolition

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The Malacca High Court has granted leave to an Orang Asli applicant from Kampung Machap Umboo to challenge the decision of the Alor Gajah Municipal Council to demolish a chapel built on ancestral/customary land.

Heerby Bt Siam, an Orang Asli Christian, was granted leave to commence judicial review proceedings on the case, with the High Court ruling that there were substantive issues of fact and law that needed to be determined.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Nafsy Yasin granted leave so that Heerby could apply for a court order to quash the “notice of demolition” as well as another order to direct the Malacca government to take “all necessary steps” to gazette the chapel land as part of the Kamoung Orang Asli Machap Umboo’s reserve land.

The leave was also granted to allow Heerby to apply for a declaration that “failure” to gazette said land as “Aboriginal Reserve Land” would be a breach of the “constitutional, statutory and/ or fiduciary duties of the Malacca state government.”

The chapel is currently being used as a place of worship by Christian residents of Kampung Machap Umboo.
Heerby was represented by Bar Council Committee for Orang Asli Rights co-chairman Steven Thiru, Victoria Ng Yiow Kheng, Yoges Subramaniam and Aaron Mathews. The Attorney General’s Chambers was represented by Kogilambigai.

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