The Tasik Chini indigenous community has warned Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob that if the state government does not attempt to save the second largest natural freshwater lake, it would cost the BN their votes in the coming general election.
"Even if I were in front of Adnan, I dare to say this, if he needed my help and said to me, 'Help! Tell your people not to vote other (parties)', but they (my people) did not listen to me, don't be angry with me," said Kampung Gumum Tok Batin (village chief) Awang Alok at a press conference yesterday.
Awang, who leads the Kampung Gumum Orang Asli action committee, was responding to Adnan's purported statement on Wednesday denying the existence of mining and logging activities around the lake.
He claimed that Adnan had made the statement during a programme over Asyik FM.
"We would like to stress that these (logging and mining) activities are being carried out in the territory and lands of Kampung Gumum," said Awang in a statement released during the press conference.
The action committee invited Adnan to the Orang Asli settlement to witness the activities.
The community had highlighted the logging and mining activities in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on April 10.
"The Orang Asli here can no longer enter the jungle affected by the mining activities to search for roots to produce medicines, and we have lost our source of resources such as rattan, roots and so on, due to the logging activities," read the statement.
Awang reiterated that they are not influenced by any political party as alleged by Senator Mohd Olian Abdullah, the Orang Asli representative in the Dewan Negara.
"We are not like 55 years ago when we only blindly obeyed without realising our own rights to our lands as stated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples," he said.
Tasik Chini is part of Najib's parliamentary constituency of Pekan, which he won by an overwhelming majority of 26,464 votes against a PKR candidate in the last polls.
Out of 77,663 registered voters in the constituency, the five Orang Asli villages closest to Tasik Chini have some 130.