Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Orang asli can protect ‘treasures’

Tuesday June 3, 2008

THE orang asli residing in the Royal Belum Forest Reserve can be a valuable ally in protecting the many ‘treasures’ of the forest.

Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said the indigenous community could provide information to police on any illegal logging or criminal activities that happened around the forest.

DCP Zulkifli said the orang asli were living in a strategic place in the forest reserve where many valuable products of the forest were found.

The valuable treasures, he said, provided a livelihood for the orang asli, adding that sandalwood, rattan, and the highly prized agarwood (gaharu) were well sought after,

“We do not want any unscrupulous individuals coming into the forest and taking away the local products,” he said, after visiting the Jahai tribe at the Kampung Sungai Kijar in the forest recently.

“We need to look after the orang asli as well,” he added.

DCP Zulkifli said the orang asli were living a very basic life and outsiders with bad intent could easily influence them.

He said marine police from the beat base in Banding would be making their rounds around the area and reaching out to them.

“They will be keeping in touch with them and at the same time get information on what is going on in the forest,” he said.

DCP Zulkifli, district police chiefs, and police department heads had visited the orang asli settlement with their spouses after their monthly meeting at the Belum Rainforest Resort on Banding Is-land.

The police also presented the orang asli with hampers and gifts.

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