Social anthropologist Associate Prof Dr Sarjit Singh Gill marks his stamp on the Orang Asli issue with the release of a book he co-edited on the indigenous people and the oldest inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia.
The book, Pembangunan Kontemporari Orang Asli (Contemporary Development of the Orang Asli), was launched by Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (National Unity and Social Wellbeing) P. Waythamoorthy in Serdang today (8 Nov 2018).
Dr Sarjit of the Human Ecology faculty of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) co-edited the book with Dr Roslan Rosnon.
Dr Sarjit said the development of the orang asli should be based on the needs of the community itself, rather than dictated to them from the top down.
“They should be consulted and asked what they need. They don’t reject development, but what they need is development on a needs basis, and not based on Putrajaya’s lenses.
“To achieve this requires negotiation power between the stakeholders and the community. Then only can development be seen through their lenses and needs,” he said in a speech at the launch of the book, as reported in local English newspaper The Star.
The book features 14 chapters written by academicians from Malaysian universities. It touches on aspects that affect the Orang Asli such as economics, politics, social development and land issues and others.
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