Marginalisation of the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia

Authored by: Alberto G. Gomes

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Malaysia

Print publication date:  October  2014
Online publication date:  October  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415816731
eBook ISBN: 9781315756240
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629597


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Since the 1970s, the Malaysian government has created several economic and social initiatives and institutions as part of its New Economic Policy (NEP) to fulfil its goal of developing a more affluent, inclusive and equal society. More than half a century later, we find that while the national poverty level has been considerably reduced and the association between ‘race’ and occupation is less obvious, there are several marginalised communities, such as the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia and indigenous minorities in Sabah and Sarawak, who remain in the ‘backwaters’ of modern Malaysia (Endicott and Dentan 2004). This chapter will focus on the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia, who fare poorly in almost every social, political and economic indicator relative to the national average (Nicholas and Baer 2007).

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