Seletar way of life faces threat of extinction

Seth Akmal

THE Seletar tribe derive their living from seafood, which they travel in rowboats across the straits in Johor to catch.

But it has been hard for the sea gysies, as they are known, to make ends meet as development, including reclamation, takes place in the state.

“Before the reclamation, it was easy to catch as seafood but nowadays there are times we return home with little to show for our efforts.” said Lety, 61. 

Today the Seletar people rely on mussel farms for an income but since the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for mussels has decreased, forcing the villagers to take odd jobs to survive. 

They are also expected to be displaced as their village is due to make way for development.

They hope the government will have sympathy for them and create policies to allow them to continue their way of life. – March 19, 2022.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.