The Aboriginal People of Peninsular Malaysia: From the Forest to the Urban Jungle, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Aboriginal People of Peninsular Malaysia

From the Forest to the Urban Jungle, 1st Edition

By Govindran Jegatesen


160 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138606937
pub: 2019-12-20
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To date, most studies of Malaysia’s aboriginal people, the Orang Asli, have studied the community in either the rural, or forest, settings. This book, however, outlines the dynamics of Orang Asli migration to Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s most urbanised region – and explores the lived experiences of these individuals in the urban space. The book begins by charting the history of the Orang Asli under British colonial rule followed by the community’s experiences under the Malaysian government, towards deepening an understanding of the economic and social complexities facing the Orang Asli today. Based on extensive original research, the book goes on to discuss the interesting changes taking place among urban Orang Asli migrants with regards to gender dynamics, while exploring the unique ways in which these urban indigenous migrants maintain close links with their home communities in the rural spaces of Peninsular Malaysia. The book concludes by assessing how research on the urban Orang Asli fits into broader studies of urban and contemporary indigeneity in both Malaysia and abroad.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents PrefaceGlossary of TermsList of AbbreviationsChapter 1: Introduction to the Orang AsliThe Klang ValleyThe Orang Asli EducationEmployment opportunities and incomeHealth and medical servicesChapter 2: Early and recent Orang Asli historyThe slave trade of 18th and 19th century MalayaBritish Malaya and governanceThe Orang Asli in post-independence MalaysiaSloth and heathen folly: The Orang Asli within Malaysia’s modernisation narrativeMalaynisation through IslamisationOrang Asli NGOs and indigenous activismChapter 3: From the settlements and into the city: Investigating Orang Asli experiencesAdministrative classification of Orang Asli settlementsMigration and urban-village relationsMaintaining urban-rural connectionsMarriage and divorceThe sociality of sharingChapter 4: Contextualising indigeneityIndigeneity in MalaysiaOrang Asli and early Malay politiesChapter 5: Orang Asli and the question of genderGender narratives and perceptions of gender roles in recent Orang Asli historyThe office of midwifeGender in Orang Asli leadership structuresThe gedo semaq of the SemelaiThe puyang of the SemelaiChapter 6: Inequality: The fragmentation of egalitarianism among the Orang AsliJAKOA and Orang Asli leadershipWho holds the purse strings? Gender anxiety: Development and implications of a cash economyContemporary notions of gender roles among urban Orang Asli migrantsWho wears the apron? Gender roles in the domestic sphereChapter 7: Narratives on the Orang Asli and Key considerationsThe big man speaks: Governmental narratives The scholar speaks: Academic narrativesReimagining the lines in Orang Asli studiesKey considerations of this book

About the Author

Govindran Jegatesen is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), at the National University of Malaysia

About the Series

Routledge Malaysian Studies Series

The Routledge Malaysian Studies Series publishes high quality scholarship that provides important new contributions to knowledge on Malaysia. It also signals research that spans comparative studies, involving the Malaysian experience with that of other nations.

This series, initiated by the Malaysian Social Science Association (MSSA) to promote study of contemporary and historical issues in Malaysia, and designed to respond to the growing need to publish important research, also serves as a forum for debate on key issues in Malaysian society. As an academic series, it will be used to generate new theoretical debates in the social sciences and on processes of change in this society.

The Series covers a broad range of subjects including history, politics, economics, sociology, international relations, geography, business, education, religion, literature, culture and ethnicity. The series will encourage work adopting an interdisciplinary approach.

New proposals for the series are welcomed.  Prospective authors should in the first instance contact the series editors, whose email addresses are: [email protected][email protected]; and [email protected]


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies