Detention of 16 Orang Asli claim not true: JPSM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Peninsula Malaysia Forestry Department (JPSM) has denied news spread on social media that 16 Orang Asli have been arrested in the Gua Musang Permanent Forest Reserve (HSK), Kelantan.

JPSM Corporate Communications and Public Relations Unit chief Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop said Kelantan Forestry Department personnel only took down the personal details of individuals at the HSK area because no offence had been committed.

"On the issue of road blockades into the Gua Musang HSK recently which involved the Orang Asli community, the department wishes to explain that 14 road blockades were vandalised and five Orang Asli were detained on Jan 23, 2017 for investigation under Section 81(1)(g) of the National Forestry Act 1984, for encroaching into HSK," he said in a statement issued here today.

Mohd Yussainy said a foreign news agency journalist and cameraman were detained on suspicion of encroaching into the HSK on Jan 24.

"The detentions were made to facilitate investigation under Section 47(1) of the National Forestry Act 1984," he added.

Meanwhile, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has left it to the deputy public prosecutor to take further action on the detention of the foreign news agency journalist and cameraman by the Kelantan Forestry Department.

To this end, its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar pointed out that any individual must first get a permit to enter the forest reserve.

"They were brought by forestry personnel to the office for their statements to be taken. When the investigation is completed, it would be handed to the DPP's office which will decide whether or not to take legal action," he told Bernama.

He was met after a dinner in conjunction with an official meeting programme and Chinese New Year with the ministry's workforce in Jalan Putra. — Bernama