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Title: Traditional Roots and Modern Resettlements: Navigating Cultural Systems in the Development of Malaysia’s Orang Asli
Authors: Chong, Christie
Advisors: Sato, Jin
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Certificate Program: Environmental Studies Program
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Thousands of Orang Asli, the indigenous peoples of Malaysia, currently reside in government-run resettlement villages. For over 60 years, the government has uprooted these communities from their ancestral lands and relocated them to more accessible areas to facilitate development programs that aim to enhance Orang Asli well-being by modernizing their economies, education, health, and culture. However, the assimilationist framework of these schemes fails to recognize the deeply rooted cultures and identities of the Orang Asli, treating their indigenous values and traditional knowledge systems as antithetical to progress, profit, and development. Ironically, this radical push for modernization has left many communities behind in a perpetuated state of underdevelopment, poor socioeconomic profiles, and high marginalization. This thesis identifies the deliberate suppression of Orang Asli cultural values and traditional knowledge systems as the predominant source of failed resettlements that continue to stifle Orang Asli development and provoke rising conflicts. It compares superannuated development models inherent in resettlements with indigenous principles in order to offer policy recommendations for how to integrate cultural frameworks into modern-day resettlement programs.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2020

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