CONSUMERIST: TAKE CHAPEL MATTER TO UN/ICJ MALACCA ORANG ASLI TOLD!

Dato Jacob George
UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON
THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Adopted by the General Assembly 13 September 2007

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday September 13, by a majority of 144 states in favour, 4 votes against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) and 11 abstentions (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Samoa and Ukraine). Click here to view the voting record.

Since its adoption, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States have all reversed their positions and now endorse the Declaration. Colombia and Samoa have also reversed their positions and indicated their support for the Declaration.

During the Durban Review Conference in April 2009, 182 States from all regions of the world reached consensus on an outcome document in which they “ Welcome[d] the adoption of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples which has a positive impact on the protection of victims and, in this context, urge[d] States to take all necessary measures to implement the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with international human rights instruments without discrimination…” (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Outcome document of the Durban Review Conference , 24 April 2009, para. 73).

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (A/RES/61/295)

 

CONSUMERIST: TAKE CHAPEL MATTER TO UN/ICJ  MALACCA ORANG ASLI TOLD!
NONEI am totally flabbergasted that the Alor Gajah Municipal Council has ordered that a chapel located in the Machap Umboo Orang Asli settlement in Malacca be demolished on grounds that it is an illegal structure.

I am saddened to read that chapel caretaker Puanheerby Siam was served with the demolition notice dated Sept 20 by the council’s building department, stating the building was in violation of Section 70 of the Street, Drainage and Buildings Act 1974.

Of course we are not stupid and know pretty well that particular section regulates the construction of new buildings!

But why the action in the first place? What is again the political motive? (as if I did not know!)

And why is the officials from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), Malacca Islamic Religious Council (Maim) getting involved in what is a civil matter not in their jurisdiction?

Are we saying that an area has been categorised as an Orang Asli settlement having residents who are Christians cannot construct buildings for practising their faith within the area?

I am advised that there are about 20 households in this Temuan settlement, which has been occupied by the Orang Asli since the days of the Japanese Occupation.

I am advised that the said construction of the 20ft by 30ft chapel was completed in March this year to serve 11 Christian families from the Machap Umboo settlement and two more Orang Asli villages nearby.

It is under the pastoral care of Jus Chapel based in Kamping Orang Asli Jus in Selandar, Malacca. Jus Chapel is a registered church with the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) Malaysia, under the mission name of Jus Chapel Tribal Ministry.

To date, Jus Chapel has built five chapels in various Orang Asli settlements.

I am also disturbed to hear that two of the five chapels had faced the same problem before, but after they demanded that the authority issues official letters detailing the reasons for the demolition, it kept silent and eventually dropped the matter.

But I am glad to hear that this matter has been raised with the NECF and a legal panel has been set up to tackle the issue.

I wish to advise both the NECF and the Christian Orang Asli to prepare to take this matter to the United Nations and the International Court of Jurist at the Hague for debate under Human Rights violations on the rights of indigenous communities in Malaysia to have and practice their own religion with pressure, disturbance or destruction of their places of worship!

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