The Orang Asli of Belum-Temenggor are still very dependent on the forest for their existence. Logging, poaching and over-harvesting have left them with very little to look forward to.
Logging and poachers are emptying the Belum-Temenggor forests of its wild resources, and the orang asli are suffering as the forest, which feeds them, is no longer as rich as before.
A report by the Centre for Malaysian Indigenous Studies in Universiti Malaya (UM) states that a growing number of locals and armed foreigners are encroaching into the sprawling Belum-Temenggor forest in northern Perak to hunt for animals, fish and collect gaharu (or incense wood). This is depriving the orang asli of food and livelihood.
The future of the Orang Asli of Belum-Temenggor looks bleak.
“Rather than acknowledging that their lifestyle of exploiting jungle produce was depleting the resources of the forest, the orang asli say it is outsiders who are causing the depletion, and that is a threat to them,” says Azrina Abdullah, one of the three authors of the report Collectors And Traders: A Study Of Orang Asli Involvement In Wildlife Trade In The Belum-Temenggor Complex.
The orang asli singled out these parties as responsible for over-exploiting the forest: foreigners (Thai and Cambodian poachers, often armed), soldiers (stationed in Belum forest), Malays from surrounding villages, government officers and illegal loggers.
For the study, the researchers had interviewed 284 orang asli villagers aged between 30 and 79, between March and June last year. The orang asli, from the villages of Pulau Tujuh, Selaor, Air Banum, Tekam, Sungai Kejar, Semelor, Chiong and Sungai Tiang, were mostly uneducated and illiterate, so few have gainful employment. Some plant hill paddy, rubber, fruit trees, vegetables and food crops such as maize and tapioca, but most supplement their diet and income with jungle produce and wild animals.
The main jungle produce sold by... [continues]
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(2012, 04). Aborigines in Dire Straits. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Aborigines-In-Dire-Straits-956184.html
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