Govt decision on Penyengat Island hurts local Malays, says activist

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Archipelago | Tue, July 23 2013, 4:56 PM

The Forestry Ministry’s decision to designate Penyengat Island a forest zone clearly violates the customary rights of local Malays, says an activist.

Batam Legal Aid Post secretary Rumbadi Dalle said that the decision had been legalized by Ministerial Decree No.463/2013.

“It’s clearly shows that the ministry knows nothing about the island’s history,” he said as quoted by on Tuesday.

He said that the island was once part of the Riau-Lingga Sultanate territory in the early 19th Century. He added that this was not the first time the ministry had violated the local Malay people. On the brink of the New Order era, he went on, the ministry had also turned the Siak Palace’s land into an industrial zone. (hrl/dic)

Source Writer: Haeril Halim/The Jakarta Post



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