Customary Land of The Orang Asli in Negeri Sembilan

Research members:

  1. Dr Izawati Wook
  2. Dr Arif Fahmi Md Yusof
  3. Ms Kamilah Wati Mohd
  4. Dr Dina Imam Supaat
  5. Dr Adzidah Yaakob
  6. Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan
  7. Dr Abd Hakim Mohad

Not many is known and written about the customary land and custom of the Orang Asli. Despite the establishment of the common law principle in Malaysia recognising the Orang Asli right to customary land, lack of express legislative and executive action acknowledging the land issue affects the security of this community’s vital asset integral to their identity. Security of rights to land and its resources is an important issue to the communities who depend on forest resources both for subsistence and cash income. The ancestral lands are also fundamental to the communities culturally and spiritually.

Secure tenure rights to land has been recognised as an important indicator of sustainable development in 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The global indicator framework measures progress of implementation of the goals. The agenda contains numerous elements that can go towards articulating the development concerns of indigenous peoples especially the human rights principles and standards.

The research project explores the concept of customary land of the Orang Asli in Negeri Sembilan, with focus on the scope, land use and practice, inheritence and distribution under their customary law. The study also seeks to understand their perspective towards the law and its future direction. It selects three villages, ie Langkap, Kuala Pilah, Parit Gong, Jelebu and Bukit Kepong, Pasir Panjang. It takes qualitative approach by interviewing headmen and some other key persons from the communities. Data provided by this research may enhance public knowledge and awareness that may pave way towards policy and legal change.

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