Statistic shows that the number of legal foreign workers in Malaysia amounted to 6.9% of Malaysia’s population of 30 million. The number of foreign workers in Malaysia is so vast that it is equivalent to one-third of the population of Singapore (5.5 million).
However, alarmingly, the actual number of foreign workers could be much higher, in 2014, the United States of America had downgraded Malaysia to tier 3 in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP). Malaysia's relegation to Tier 3 in the TIP indicates that the country has categorically failed to comply with the most basic international requirements to prevent trafficking and protect victims within its borders.
Malaysian ranking in the international platform is justified by various evidences of forced labour, and prostitution occurring throughout the country.
On the 26th of November 2015, an application for logging permits on gazetted land allocated to Orang Asli was filed and granted by the State Executive Council in Jerantut, Pahang. However, there were allegations that the granting procedure did not incorporate the consent needed from the local Orang Asli community. Instead, pecuniary ‘gifts’ were given to each household as well as a certain sum of ‘donation’ to the local community funds.
Albeit such ‘gifts,' a few joint rallies have been organized by the affected parties such as the Malays as well as the Orang Asli communities residing around the compartment areas against the land development. This conflict between the developers and the local community is especially prominent in Kg. Sg. Kiol as due to the ongoing activities of logging, the Orang Asli living in Kg. Sg Kiol has suffered from contaminated water sources, trespass of land, loss of forest resources and threats from wild animals whose habitat had been destroyed by logging.
This case study aims to analyze the implementation of free, prior, and informed consent in regards to the land rights of Orang Asli residents in general.