Sustainability through Subsistence: The Case for De-urbanization in Malaysia


Industrialization was the catalyst for growth of cities in Southeast Asia, in particular Malaysia. However, industrialization in many cities has peaked and is now declining. This raises the issue of increased in urban poverty to be a significant problem facing the cities in the 21st century. Evidence from other developing countries is that, faced with the choice of urban poverty or rural subsistence has appears to be the trends of de-urbanization. As Malaysia is unique to impose law that protect the land ownership, this study is aimed to investigate the capacity of the potential land to absorb migrant from city and to identify whether the return migrants have the capability to maintain a subsistence lifestyle. This paper presents a case study analyzing the trends of urban to rural migration in Malaysia. An audit to land capacity was carried out in a typical kampong and an investigation on the capability has been done in both, urban and rural areas. This study found that the abandoned land due to rural-urban migration in 1970s are available and remains accessible for future use. The finding also has identified several samples of the returnees, who have come back and showed that they have adapted well with the land and living out of poverty. Therefore, these findings proof that the cases of sustainability through subsistence living in Malaysia are possible.

Author Information
Nur Mohd Hussain, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2013
Stream: Sustainability

This paper is part of the ACSEE2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Hussain N. (2013) Sustainability through Subsistence: The Case for De-urbanization in Malaysia ISSN: 2186-2311 – The Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment 2013 – Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon