Industrial Development in Malaysia Transition for Sustainability
Keywords:Industry, development, transition, sustainability
Industrial development in Malaysia can be traced back to the early 20th century. The early industrial economy was of a special type based on the commercial production of industrial raw materials. The development of the manufacturing industry in Peninsula Malaysia or Malaya, then, started at the small scale fulfilling the needs of local consumption. The focus of Malaysia’s industries during that period up until the independence was on producing rubber, tin, timber and palm oil. Well planned and structured industrialization processes in Malaysia started after Independence in 1957 and during the Second Malaya Plan of 1961 to 1965, industrial activities have diversified to reduce dependency on agricultural and natural resources based industries. This paper highlights the changes of industrialization in Malaysia from natural resources based to the technological and services oriented industries. The changes of industries resources supply source especially by manufacturing industries were discussed. At the early stages of industrial development, industries utilise more on domestic resources and later it become dependent on both foreign and domestic resources. The negative impact on the ecosystem and human health needs to be address and action which will make the industry activities becoming more ecosystem friendly and reduce human health impact will be discussed. Towards achieving sustainability, industry must take an action which balance the need of economic growth while maintaining the health of the ecosystem as well as supporting the need for society.