Looking Back and Looking Forward
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Orang Asli Self-Governance and Democracy
Author: Colin Nicholas
Series Editor: Christian Erni
Publisher: Center For Orang Asli Concerns
The Orang Asli were once the dominant peoples who inhabited the Malayan peninsula. They governed themselves in customarily-held autonomous areas by developing social, economic and political systems that we now realize have been important in striking a harmonious balance between humans and Nature, and between humans and humans. Their indigenous governance systems, in particular, ensured that every member of the community was the focus of government, but that the interests and continuity of the community took precedence.
Today, they struggle to regain control over their lives and lands. How did it get to this? Just what did they lose? And what do they need to do to recover their governance systems?
This volume is part of a series published by AIPP for a course on “Realizing Indigenous Peoples’ Autonomy and Self-government”. The programme seeks to help Indigenous Peoples critically reflect on the state-of-affairs regarding self-determination and self-government among their own peoples; to help them comprehend the extent of the damage or destruction of their customary self-governance systems; to take stock of what is left; and to explore options to regain, revitalize and reconstruct self-government among their communities and peoples.
COLIN NICHOLAS is the Founder and Coordinator of the Center for Orang Asli Concerns in Malaysia. He has been associated with AIPP since its inception in 1988.