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Hanim Binti Apeng

Puan Hanim Binti Apeng is an Orang Asli entrepreneur from the Jakun/Jahut tribe. Born in Baling Kedah on 3rd June 1971 and raised in Perak and Selangor, she is the founder of Asli MakIntan Enterprise.

Hanim’s father is a forest police (or better known as Senoi Praaq). He used to work with the Telekom Malaysia company in the customer service department where he received the Outstanding Work award. He started getting serious about making craft products after he finished his service at Telekom Malaysia. He was appointed as Village Chairman under the Orang Asli Development Department for 2 terms. He works with government agencies and local NGOs to help the local Orang Asli community by providing job opportunities and skills training to generate income. Among the skills are handicraft, whose products include mengkuang mats, pickaxes, chopsticks, replicas of traditional houses, decorative lamps made of bamboo and more. These products are made with various materials from the forest with customised product designs according to customer requests.

Hanim’s knowledge on traditional crafts was passed down by her parents, having followed them into the forest to look for wood and materials for weaving projects when she was younger. She proceeded to hone her craft-making skills, and learnt as much as she could from attending classes and workshops by others. She is now a successful self-made entrepreneur, with her work focusing on producing original Orang Asli handicrafts and homemade soaps, snacks, and upcycled products.

Hanim also serves as a community leader, supporting other Indigenous communities by collecting and selling crafts. She is part of the Weaving Hopes team, an Arts and Cultural response to climate degradation, who empowers Orang Asli youths and women on climate action in global and local spaces.

Making an impact involves doing something with earnestness and sincerity. It involves learning to be independent, and helping the Orang Asli community by raising their standards of living.

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