Event Title

Presentation, "The Legal Recognition of Orang Asli Customary Land Rights and Its Challenges"

Start Date

11-6-2014 9:30 AM

End Date

11-6-2014 10:30 AM

Description

ABSTRACT — In Malaysia, constitutional and attendant statutory protection for its Indigenous minority, Orang Asli (‘OA’), which place extensive power over OA and their lands in the state have not translated to the effective recognition of OA rights or substantial equality for OA. This situation persists notwithstanding positive jurisprudential developments in the Malaysian courts and Malaysia’s support for the 2007United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Instead, the Federal and State governments continue to use their extensive legal powers to determine state priorities for land and resource utilization. The exercise of these powers appears to leave OA with land ownership, use and development priorities foisted upon them by the state. These priorities tend to deprioritize OA land interests. A combination of prejudices against the numerically inferior OA, hierarchical, differentiated and contested definitions of indigeneity in Malaysia and the subsequent push for economic progress which is linked to ethnic Malay-centric affirmative action have also contributed to the lack of legislative and executive will to effectively recognise OA customary land rights. Consequently, any initiative towards the legal recognition OA customary land rights is likely to be a product of state-driven compromise, the extent of which may again serve to shortchange OA.

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Jun 11th, 9:30 AM Jun 11th, 10:30 AM

Presentation, "The Legal Recognition of Orang Asli Customary Land Rights and Its Challenges"

ABSTRACT — In Malaysia, constitutional and attendant statutory protection for its Indigenous minority, Orang Asli (‘OA’), which place extensive power over OA and their lands in the state have not translated to the effective recognition of OA rights or substantial equality for OA. This situation persists notwithstanding positive jurisprudential developments in the Malaysian courts and Malaysia’s support for the 2007United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Instead, the Federal and State governments continue to use their extensive legal powers to determine state priorities for land and resource utilization. The exercise of these powers appears to leave OA with land ownership, use and development priorities foisted upon them by the state. These priorities tend to deprioritize OA land interests. A combination of prejudices against the numerically inferior OA, hierarchical, differentiated and contested definitions of indigeneity in Malaysia and the subsequent push for economic progress which is linked to ethnic Malay-centric affirmative action have also contributed to the lack of legislative and executive will to effectively recognise OA customary land rights. Consequently, any initiative towards the legal recognition OA customary land rights is likely to be a product of state-driven compromise, the extent of which may again serve to shortchange OA.