Malaysian rainforests and indigenous peoples part 1Presentation Transcript
Malaysian Rainforests and Indigenous Peoples(or Dr. McG’s Malaysian Vacations) Dr. Mark A. McGinley The Honors College and Department of Biological Sciences Texas Tech University
Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia
Dipterocarps• Dipterocarps are plants that are members of the Family Diptocarpaceae, a family containing 17 genera and over 500 species.• The name dipterocarp comes from Greek (di = two, pteron = wing and karpos = fruit) and refers to the two-winged fruit produced by these trees.
Dipterocarps • Dipterocarps dominate forests in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, the Malaysian Peninsula, and wet regions of the Philippines. • Generally, dipterocarps are tall trees that produce straight smooth trunks. Some dipterocarps may grow up to 50 meters tall. Normally, dipterocarp trunks do not branch until they reach the canopy.
“Night Safari” in Oil Palm Plantation
Orang Asli• Orang Asli (lit. "original people", "natural people" or "aboriginal people" in Malay), is a generic Malaysian term used officially for non- Malays indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia.• Officially, there are 18 Orang Asli tribes, in three main groups according to their different languages and customs:Wikipedia- Orang Asli
Orang Asli• In 2000, the Orang Asli comprise only 0.5% of the total population in Malaysia. Their population is approximately 148,000.• The poverty rate among Orang Asli is 76.9%. – 35.2% of the population as being "hardcore poor".• The majority of Orang Asli live in rural areas.• In 1991, the literacy rate for the Orang Asli was 43% compared to the national rate of 86%.• They have an average life expectancy of 53 years. A high infant mortality rate is also evident with 51.7 deaths per 1000 births
Orang Asli• Orang Asli are traditionally animists, where they believe in the presence of spirits in various objects.• However, in the 21st century, many of them have embraced monotheistic religions such as Islam and Christianity
Orang Asli• The government agency entrusted to oversee the affairs of the Orang Asli is the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (Department of Orang Asli Affairs) (JHEOA). – objectives are to eradicate poverty among the Orang Asli, improving their health, promoting education, and improving their general livelihood.
Orang Asli• The Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 provides for the setting up and establishment of the Orang Asli Reserve Land.• However, the Act also includes the power accorded to the Director-General of the JHEOA to order Orang Asli out of such reserved land at its discretion, and award compensation to affected people, also at its discretion.
Orang Asli• The Orang Asli are theoretically classified as Bumiputras,] a status signifying indigenity to Malaysia which – certain social, economic, and political rights, along with the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. – However, this status is not mentioned in the constitution.
Orang Asli• The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that Orang Asli were not entitled more rights than Malays even though they were natives to the land – He compared the Orang Asli in Malaysia to Native Americans in the US, Maoris in New Zealand, and Aboriginals in Australia.• He was criticized by spokespeople and advocates for the Orang Asli who said that the Orang Asli desired to be recognized as the natives of Malaysia and that his statement would expose their land to businessmen and loggers.