Ci Yan Sara Loh

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10523

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Loh, Ci Yan Sara (Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, U. of) "Finding Resilience in Difference: Orang Asli Indigenous Knowledge, Climate-Exacerbated Disasters and Development in the Langat River Basin, Peninsular Malaysia"

December 2021, usually the Northeast monsoon season, saw unprecedented rainfall in the Peninsular Malaysia West coast. Tropical Depression 29W took an unexpected turn, causing four days of continuous rain. Debris flow inundated homes and highways. Over 40,000 people were displaced, over 50 lives taken, and up to RM 6.1 billion (USD 1.46 billion) was accounted for in losses (Rahman 2022). Selangor’s districts suffered the most due to their denser, urbanized environment; and unpreparedness for severe flooding. Many Temuan Orang Asli homes, whose ancestral lands are in Selangor’s Langat River Basin, were among the worst hit, and the last to receive aid. Yet, they were more prepared than other communities. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with the Temuan, and digital and archival research, this project traces how Temuan disaster resilience is entangled with development, climate-exacerbated flooding and indigenous justice. What practices and knowledge guide Temuan flood resilience? How do intersectionality and power dynamics affect experiences of and vulnerabilities to flooding? How are Temuan experiences of flooding shaping/shaped by broader indigenous advocacy? I suggest that these practices and knowledge of adaptation allow the Temuan to assert their own forms of resilience in the face compounding vulnerabilities, indigenous injustice and increasing climate-exacerbated floods.