Self-Determination: Exercising Autonomous Rights Through the Orang Asli Co-Operative in Malaysia

Rohaida Nordin, Sharifah Shuzaida Bt Saedin
Faculty of Law, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


Autonomy is one of the important aspects of self-determination of indigenous peoples. Although self-determination is internationally recognized for the indigenous peoples including in Malaysia, self-determination is under the authority of governments in many states and this right is limited to the economic, social, cultural and resource dimensions compared to political and civil dimensions especially for the indigenous peoples in Peninsular Malaysia. In the context of co-operatives, autonomy is one of the principles to be implemented to ensure transparency in its administration. It is a principle that must be followed by all co-operatives around the world including indigenous co-operatives which is known as the Orang Asli co-operative. Therefore, this article discusses the definition of indigenous peoples and co-operatives in Malaysia. The discussion in this article focused on the scope of self-determination of indigenous peoples in Peninsular Malaysia. It also discusses how self-determination in the context of autonomy is exercised through the Orang Asli co-operatives.

Keywords: Autonomy, Self-determination, Indigenous peoples, Orang Asli, Orang Asli co-operatives