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Good governance and human security in Malaysia: Sarawak’s hydroelectric conundrum

Title
Good governance and human security in Malaysia: Sarawak’s hydroelectric conundrum
Authors
Howe B.M.Kamaruddin N.
Ewha Authors
Brendan M. Howe
SCOPUS Author ID
Brendan M. Howescopus
Issue Date
2016
Journal Title
Contemporary Southeast Asia
ISSN
0129-797XJCR Link
Citation
vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 81 - 105
Keywords
GovernanceHuman securityHydroelectric damsMalaysiaSarawak SCORE
Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Indexed
SSCI; SCOPUS scopus
Abstract
Good governance is an essentially contested concept. In Asian countries, economic efficiency and macro-economic projects have predominantly been pursued with the aim of promoting national, aggregate measurements of development. Hydroelectric power generation projects have played a central role in the national planning of several regional states as part of an attempt to achieve these goals. Even by their own terms of reference, however, hydroelectric power projects have at most a mixed record of success, and are increasingly criticized with regard to their negative impact on the environment, and upon vulnerable groups. The government of Malaysia has embraced the “developmental state” model, and this is best illustrated by governance initiatives and resource exploitation in the East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah and their respective “development corridors”. Sarawak’s Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the most visible sign of Malaysia’s macro-economic hydroelectric development focus, as Sabah’s corridor focuses on trade, investment, and tourism. This article takes a critical perspective towards good governance, emphasizing that it should function in the interests of all society, but in particular the most vulnerable. It therefore addresses the impact of Malaysian hydroelectric development policies on one of the most vulnerable sections of Malaysian society, the indigenous peoples of Sarawak. The findings cast doubt on the validity of continued prioritization of hydroelectric dam construction as a cornerstone of government energy and development policy. © 2016 ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute.
DOI
10.1355/cs38-1d
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국제대학원 > 국제학과 > Journal papers
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