Phases of Rural Development in Malaysia: Shifting Towards Human Resource Development and Well-being
Kalthum Hassan & Chamhuri Siwar, 2021
ISBN 978-967-2486-68-8, 133 pages RM35.00
The rural development approach should be flexible and dynamic to correspond with the transformation of the rural economy and society. Therefore, the phases of rural development in Malaysia illustrate the transformation of rural development approaches in Malaysia and how these approaches have changed the overall rural landscape.
Different from other books on rural development, this book presents discussion and analysis on rural development approaches since after independence until during the COVID-19 pandemic. The content of the book is a mixture of primary and secondary information gathered from literature reviews, interviews, and on-site observation. It provides a diverse and rich discussion on various aspects of rural development approaches.
The early phase of development approach which was at macro level targeting the mass of rural poverty since the poverty incidence was high. The goal of rural development was two prongs; to develop the economy, infrastructure and facility of the rural areas and to alleviate poverty.
As the incidence of poverty has reduced remarkably, the development approach has separated from the poverty alleviation programmes. Development initiatives was more to provide basic urban infrastructure and facilities, to develop human resources through skill-training and improve level of education of the rural residents. In addition, rural development provides employment opportunities through decentralization of industrial sector to rural areas and fosters entrepreneurship activities. Meanwhile, the poverty alleviation programmes are tackled at micro level, that is more towards individual or a household level.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic alters the approach of rural development focusing on providing facilities, services and assistance to preserve the well-being of rural community, especially the low-income group.