The Orang Laut of Danga Bay

The original Orang Laut of Johor was said to have come from Singapore. Known as Orang Asli Seletar they settled in around Kampong Sungei Melayu and Sungei Temon of Southern Johor to escape the malaria infested Pulau Seletar many generations ago.

They are now facing an uncertain future as the mangrove forests surrounding their village is being reclaimed for high rise condominiums of the Waterfront City and the Danga Bay complex. 

They now irked out a living tendering their mussel farms at the bay as the fishing along the Straits of Johor is impacted by the reclamation to build Forest City, another mega residential development near the second link.  ( Source: Leong Kwok Peng)

During a recent jointed NSS and MNS Johor recce trip to explore the mangrove forests at Southern Johor, we get to meet the families and watch their way of life. Here are some images of these forgotten group sidelined by progress and the march of time.

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The mussel farm with the Kampong Melayu village in the background. Lesser Sand Plovers used the floating drums as high tide roost.

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Scrapping green mussels from the barrel. This is the main source of income of the Orang Asli at Kampong Melayu.
Orang Asli women cleaning mussels.
Hard at work cleaning green mussels under the hot sun, this Orang Asli women still has a smile for us. 
The Orang Asli Village directly linked to the jetty.
The Orang Asli Village is built right next to the jetty. 

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The children are still not used to strangers to their village.

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He is only four and is already helping his dad out on the boat with us. What will his future be like?

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Helping us to take a group photo on the reclaimed land, these Orang Asli men must find ways to secure the future for the next generation.

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The kampong gathering place for the Orang Aslis living at this village. Vincent Chow (right) in long sleeves, the Chairman of MNS Johor is helping these Orang Asli fight for their ancestral home and land.

The NSS Bird Group wish to thank Vincent Chow and Simon Siow of MNS Johor for organising and hosting this trip for us and their first class hospitality. 

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