The great transformation: urbanisation and urbanism in Malaysia

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This chapter considers both the evolution of forms of urban settlement in Malaysia and the policies and programmes that have most shaped life within. As elsewhere in the former outposts of European empires in Southeast Asia, the genesis of Malaysia's long road to modernist urbanisation can be traced back to the advent of British colonial rule. Human settlements in the pre-colonial milieu were predominantly coastal, riverine or port cities, of which the most prominent was Melaka during the Age of Commerce. The British administrators also built an infrastructural network of transportation links, both rail and roads, to facilitate the creation of trading and commercial centres that were skewed along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Since 1991, the constant refrain of achieving the coveted 'fully developed' nation status by the year 2020 has infused all subsequent Malaysia Plans. This discourse runs alongside older nation-building aspirations of balancing social and economic development across states and regions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Contemporary Malaysia
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781317629597
ISBN (Print)9780415816731
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2014

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