Orang Asli (Peninsular Malaysia)

The aboriginal people of Malaysia, also known as Orang Asli, make up 178,197 of the Malaysian population. In 2000, they were identified as a vulnerable population with 83% of the population still living in poverty. 

A study conducted in 2020, focusing on the Orang Asli in Terengganu identified that all were earning less than RM880 a month, a figure that is way below the national poverty line of RM2,208.

 With the majority of the Orang Asli population still hunters and gatherers, their lives and livelihood are closely connected with nature and the land. 

The struggle is real for this people group, especially during a pandemic. Many have lost their jobs and over the months, families were grappling with food security.

As such, since 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen Society launched a national food distribution to better support the aboriginal community.


The 3 Main Race of Orang Asli

Negrito (Semang) Senoi Melayu Proto
● They live within the rainforest in West Malaysia, and are mostly located within the inner areas of northern Pahang, western Terengganu and southern Kelantan.
● They primarily inhabit the Taman Negara National Park.

● The chosen settlement area for the Orang Temiar tribe is decided by the "Penghulu" (chief), who will perform a special "Berhalaq" (spell) or "Mimpi" (dream) ceremony.
● The chosen location must be location away from graves, and free from hard wood areas, waterfalls and large rivers. They believe this will avoid any disturbances from spirits or forest guardians.
● They survive on hunting, forest plantation and collecting forest products.
Orang Seletar
● Seletar tribe or “Sea Gypsies” is a sea travelling community who live on boats, islands, and coastal areas. Their main settlement is in Southern Johor and North of Singapore.

● They live in the Gerik area within the district of Hulu Perak (Perak).

Semoq Beri
● The Semoq Beri people live along the edges of Pahang and Terengganu. Previously, they lived nomadic styles, and move from place to place looking for new sources of food. In the past few years, the Malaysian government has provided them with permanent settlement areas, and education facilities for the children and medical treatment.
● The Jakun tribe (or Orang Ulu) can be found in Pahang and Johor.

● Orang Asli Jahai can be found in Perak and Kelantan.
● Their complexion is of a darker shade, with afro-textured hair.
● Traditionally, the Jahai people are nomadic. However, in recent times, they have been made to live in permanent settlements in parts of the Royal Belum State Park (located at Hulu Perak).
● They live in isolation, lacking basic infrastructure such as roads, schools, health services etc.
Mah Meri
● Mah Meri means "Orang Hutan" or "Forest People".
● They are also known as "sea people" as they typically live near the sea, and work as fishermen.

Orang Kanaq
● Kanaq tribe can be found at the edge of Kampung Selangi, Mawai, Kota Tinggi (districts in Johor).
● The village has received electricity supply, tap water facilities, tarred roads, surau and kindergartens.
● Their main source of income is through oil palm fields (implemented by FELCRA).
● Some possess motorcycles and electrical appliances within their homes.
● They live along the edges of Baling, Kedah.
● Only one Kensiu community exists in Baling, Kedah called Kampung Lubuk Legong. This village has basic infrastructure such as electricity, water supply, a community hall and children's education centre.
● Their main source of income comes from rubber tapping plantations, which is supported by RISDA and JKOA (Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli).
Che Wong
● They live in the remote areas of north Raub, Jerantut and Temerloh (within Pahang).

● The Semelai tribe can be found in Negeri Sembilan, Pahang.

15 Orang Asli Settlements Comprising Of 34 Villages That KSK Society Serves

Distribution Images