Dr Colin Nicholas

Dr Colin Nicholas attended the first Annual Training Programme of DTP back in 1990. This was the year following his founding of the Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) – the Orang Asli are the indigenous minority peoples of Peninsular Malaysia.

He has remained the Coordinator of the Centre to the present day and continues to be invited to speak on Orang Asli issues. COAC is based in Subang Jaya, Malaysia. The Center was established in 1989 to advance the cause of the Orang Asli – whether via the greater dissemination of Orang Asli news and views, assisting in court cases involving Orang Asli rights, or in developing arguments for lobbying and advocacy work. COAC functions primarily as a center to facilitate Orang Asli initiatives at self-development and in defense of their rights, and to support those who want to promote such initiatives. The focus is on Orang Asli communities who still want to exercise autonomy and control over their social institutions, their traditional territories and their future, but are unable to do so fully because of factors outside their control. Dr Colin Nicholas received his PhD (with Distinction) in 1999 from the Institute of Advanced Studies, Universiti Malaya on the topic of Orang Asli: Politics, Development and Identity. He is the author of several popular and academic articles as well as of several books on the indigenous and Orang Asli issues–including Pathways to Dependence (Monash University, 1996), The Orang Asli and the Contest for Resources (COAC/IWGIA, 2000, reprinted 2004) and The Orang Asli and the UNDRIP: From Rhetoric to Recognition (COAC 2010). He has been an expert witness in sex precedent-setting or important Orang Asli land rights cases that have all been decided in the Orang Asli's favour. He was also an independent consultant for the National Inquiry in the Land Rights of the Orang Asal organised by Suhakam, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia in 2011-2013

He is also a keen photographer and has had his photos used and exhibited in various media and events.

He continues to use the tools from the DTP training to support the Orang Asli to claim their rights.


Profile updated September 2017