• MARLINA JAMAL School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.



Orang Asli, critical discourse analysis, rhetoric, Theory of Semantic Macrostructure, media and discrimination, indigenous community


Media possess the ultimate power to shape cognition of the society and plays a fundamental role in the (re)production of elements of biasness and discrimination in contemporary society. In the field of ethnic affair, the news media become the most important source of access to information concerning the indigenous community. In this context, the study aims to unravel the projection of Malaysian indigenous community; the Orang Asli in a selected news media through the application of van Dijk’s Theory of Semantic Macrostructure. Attention is paid to the deployment of rhetorical structures and how these structures scrutinised in structuring and shaping the minds of the general public concerning the Orang Asli community. Findings reveal the hidden ideology beneath the tactical use of rhetorical structures whereby the dominant and the elites are shown to be maintaining their power while the Orang Asli community are contrasted with perpetuated stereotypes and prejudice in various degrees. The study concludes that the community is commonly viewed through unconstructive themes such as being dependant and traditional, and this study strongly opposes the blatancy of media while at the same time, calls for a more neutral and subtle representation of the community.


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