The stories of Indigenous People of Peninsular Malaysia, known locally as Orang Asli, is commonly understood as a recurring cycle of grief, anger and voicelessness. Generation after generation, the Orang Asli have seen their customary land taken away in the name of economic development and industry -- yet this is not the entirety of the Orang Asli experience.
As minorities, Indigenous People living in Peninsula Malaysia are still subjugated to policies rooted in the colonial legacy and denied political power. They are mostly cast aside from making decisions about their lives, customary land, religion, and culture, causing them to experience injustices. This makes them some of the most vulnerable people to climate impacts.
We seek to upset the old narrative by anchoring Indigenous People as powerful agents of change whose stories, histories, philosophy and knowledge are critical to shifting the climate discourse towards just transition and urgent climate action.
They hold the key to climate solutions. We cannot ignore Indigenous People’s rights; they must sit equally at the decision-making table.
Following the success of Weaving Hopes for the Future in COP26, the programme's second phase will expand on creating a community report of the four Jakun tribes in Pahang, Malaysia, centred on the Loss and Damage documentation. The knowledge management will also dive into community dialogues to form community protocols as the first steps towards community empowerment
What is Weaving Hopes for The Future ?
Weaving Hopes for the Future started in 2021 to amplify the voices and realities of Peninsular Malaysia's Indigenous People — particularly underrepresented Indigenous young women in the climate justice movement.
Weaving Hopes first project in 2021 is envisioned as an art and cultural response to climate degradation and injustice. Our Indigenous team exhibited their interpretation of Loss and Damage at the United Nations Climate Conference COP26 in Glasgow. This exhibition features an art installation alongside short documentaries led and produced by the Indigenous communities of Selangor and Pahang, Malaysia. Together, both form a complex and rich tapestry of the Orang Asli experience of the climate crisis. In COP26, we entered into the discourse of the Gender Action Plan and demanded a serious commitment to human rights in the Paris Agreement to keep the 1.5°C alive. The Indigenous storytelling in Weaving Hopes is anchored in the operationalisation of Loss and Damage, climate reparations and climate finance for vulnerable people and developing states in the Global South.
In 2022, the second project expanded to create a community report of the four Jakun tribes in Pahang, Malaysia, centred on the Loss and Damage documentation. Two Indigenous delegates from Weaving Hopes participated in the United Nations Climate Conference COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh to demand Indigenous lands, knowledge and cultural rights are recognised and respected in all processes up for negotiation this year, which includes Loss and Damage, carbon market and Global Stocktake, and climate finance.
Read the Weaving Hopes report
Released during COP28 in Dubai, this report offers a glimpse into the lives of the Indigenous Orang Asli Jakun of Pahang, Malaysia, highlighting key aspects of their experiences with the changing climate. It examines the specific challenges faced by members of the Jakun tribe, with a focus on systemic issues such as health, education, and environmental crises. Explore the narratives that shed light on their struggles for land rights, identity, and survival amidst the backdrop of climate change and systemic injustice.