Digital Inclusion and Lifestyle Transformation among the Orang Asli: Sacrificing Culture for Modernity?

  •  Rugayah Hashim    
  •  Kartika Sari Idris    
  •  Yus Aznita Ustadi    
  •  Farah Murni Merican    
  •  Sharifah F. S. M. Fuzi    


In the Digital Era, being part of the digital society is no longer an option particularly for those living in the urban areas. Caught by the e-wave and the onslaught of sophisticated information and communication technologies (ICT), most urbanites are e-savvy unlike those living in rural locations, particularly the indigenous groups. Is there a need for simple, rural folks to embrace digital literacy and be e-inclusive? Hence, the objective of the study is to assess the level of literacy and computer literacy amongst the indigenous people or natives living in a rural area of Perak, Malaysia. Cross-sectional research design with purposive sampling was employed and the instrument used was a survey form. The findings revealed that 30.8% of the respondents were illiterate and only 5.2% who were computer literate thus, substantiating the myth of digital inclusion among the minorities. With the government’s transformation plan to have connected citizens through broadband access, the dilemma was the motivation for this research and inherently, substantiated. Although native minorities in Perak, Malaysia formed the sample size for this study, the implications provide justification for policy analysis on socio-technological inclusion among other disadvantaged groups as culture remains strongly ingrained in their every day existence. However, with time, the new generation may revolutionize the outlook of the indigenous group towards modernity and ICT. A change champion together with a positive, political environment would retard the myth and rhetoricism in promoting e-access for social inclusion and citizen development.

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