The common phrase used to refer to them, 'orang asli', signifies a diverse group of which the Batek tribe is a part. It means 'original people' in Malay and was probably first used to identify these people by Austronesian-speaking settlers who arrived by boat from the islands of Southeast Asia.
Until about 1970 much of inland peninsular Malaysia was difficult to reach for the purposes of logging, so the Batek were widespread throughout that region. Since it is now possible to harvest the trees in that region, the Batek are pretty much confined to Taman Negara National Park and the surrounding region.
|From The Batek|