Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-x

Since its independence in 1957, Malaysia had evolved from an agrarian economy into an industrial one envied by many other developing nations. In 1991, former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed launched Vision 2020 as a roadmap for the country to...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

The Malaysian economy has seen many notable developments since its independence in 1957 from the British rule. Initially a commodity exporter of rubber and tin, it has undergone several structural changes and is now a diversified economy with 75 per cent of its gross...

Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

The Contributors

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pp. xv-xviii

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1. The Economy of Malaysia: Present, Problems, Prospects

Sanchita Basu Das and Lee Poh Onn

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pp. 1-26

The economic development of Malaysia since 1957, by all accounts, has been a spectacular trajectory of restructuring and of rapid economic growth, punctuated only by the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, and by the economic crisis in 2008. Malaysia has also been able to graduate...

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2. Malaysia’s Economic Development and Transformation: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

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pp. 27-54

The Malaysian economy and society has changed significantly for the better over the last half-century. The current challenges that the economy is facing can be better understood and dealt with if seen against the background of its past. This chapter will therefore analyse Malaysia’s...

Part I: Economic Issues

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3. Malaysia’s Route to Middle Income Status

Rajah Rasiah

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pp. 57-92

By the time the World Bank started to classify countries by per capita incomes into low, middle and high income countries in the 1980s, Malaysia was already a middle income country. The World Bank used Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of US$1,006–3,975 and...

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4. Harnessing Services for Development in Malaysia

Tham Siew Yean and Loke Wai Heng

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pp. 93-117

In general, increasing per capita income is associated with an increasing share of services in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country. Developed countries are therefore generally characterized with a relatively higher share of services in their GDP and total...

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5. Productivity Led Growth

Cassey Lee

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pp. 118-133

Sustained economic growth is commonly associated with higher living standards. It is for this reason that the preoccupation with economic growth is an ancient one which continues until today. Within the economics literature proper, theories of economic growth dates back...

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6. Malaysia’s Investment Malaise: What Happened and Can It be Fixed

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pp. 134-160

It was not long ago that the Malaysian development story was hailed as a model of foreign direct investment (FDI)-driven, export-led industrialization worthy of emulation by aspirants in the developing world. The transformation from a largely agrarian economy in the 1950s...

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7. Infrastructure in Malaysia: Investment, Growth and Policy Challenges

G. Naidu

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pp. 161-191

Since independence, the Malaysian economy has posted impressive rates of growth, in the process undergoing important structural changes (see Table 7.1). Neither the growth of the economy nor its structural transformation, from a predominantly agricultural economy to a manufacturing...

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8. Financial Reforms in Malaysia

G. Sivalingam

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pp. 192-210

The focus of this chapter is on financial reforms in Malaysia after the 1997 East Asian Financial Crisis when the economy suffered its worst recession since independence in 1957. The 1997 currency crisis has been seen as a consequence of the fragility of the banking system by those...

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9. ICT in Malaysia’s Growth Agenda

Sharbanom Abu Bakar

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pp. 211-226

When Malaysia launched its Vision 2020 in 1991, the aspirations were about becoming a “scientific and progressive society”, to develop “an economy that is … able to adapt, innovate and invent …”, and “an economy driven by brain power, skills and diligence, in possession of...

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10. Malaysia’s Participation in the ASEAN Economic Community

Rokiah Alavi

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pp. 227-260

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established in 2007 with the objective to create a single market and production base. The AEC is meant to allow the free movement of goods, services, skilled labour, and capital within the ten ASEAN economies by 2015. Malaysia has...

Part II: Politics, Decentralization and Environment

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11. Prisons to Mind in Malaysia’s Nation Building

Ooi Kee Beng

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pp. 263-277

The thrust of the argument in this chapter builds on the idea that Malaysian nation building has been occurring in an atmosphere of conservatism and compromise. Undoubtedly, there were many parties involved that were correctly called radical, but these were successfully...

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12. Malaysia’s Federal System: Stifling Local Initiative?

Francis E. Hutchinson

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pp. 278-312

The Malaysian state is usually portrayed as centralized, top-heavy, and far-reaching. Bureaucrats in the powerful Prime Minister ’s Office or Economic Planning Unit design ambitious programmes for the country, then government agencies headquartered in the nation’s...

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13. The Environment

Wee Chong Hui

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pp. 313-334

The Malaysian Federation covers around 330,803 square kilometres of land between 1° and 7° latitude north of the equator at longitude 100° and 119° east. Comprising the peninsular states, and Sabah and Sarawak on the north of Borneo Island, with the two regions separated by the...

Part III: Social Issues

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14. Malaysia’s Education, Off Course: Heady Growth, Systemic Woes, Small Fixes

Hwok-Aun Lee

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pp. 337-353

Education, economy, and society interact in mutual relationship, but in recent decades increasing attention has been cast in the direction of academia’s contribution to economic growth and social development. This is partly a natural outcome of Malaysia’s climb up the development...

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15. Growth and Change in Financing Malaysian Higher Education

Lee Hock Guan

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pp. 354-370

By the 1980s, a combination of rising per unit-student cost and accelerating demand for higher education had pressured European states to question whether they could afford to maintain their largely public supported higher educational systems. By the first decade of the...

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16. Income Inequality: A Drag on being a Developed Nation?

Ragayah Haji Mat Zin

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pp. 371-395

Income distribution has always been a core and prioritized issue in Malaysian economic development. Although inequality (as measured by the Gini ratio) was rising prior to 1976, it was reduced by about 16.6 per cent by the end of the New Economic Policy 1971–90 (NEP)...

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17. Migrant Workers in Malaysia: A Much Needed Labour Source

Theresa W. Devasahayam

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pp. 396-417

Malaysia depends heavily on imported labour. As of 2010, migrant workers comprised around 16 per cent of the country’s total labour force. The proportion of foreign workers in Malaysia’s labour force has been growing steadily over recent decades. In 1990, foreign workers...

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18. Growth and Liveability: The Case of Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tan Teck Hong and Phang Siew Nooi

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pp. 418-436

Malaysia is a developing nation striving towards a developed status by the year 2020 as envisaged by the Malaysian government. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, also known as the urban century, this country has managed to maintain a semblance of stability...

Index

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pp. 437-457