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ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN MALAYSIA (KUALA LUMPUR)

[This piece is Chapter 5 of AJ Harding (ed), Access to Environmental Justice: A Comparative Survey (The Hague, Kluwer, 2007)] ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN MALAYSIA (KUALA LUMPUR) by Andrew Harding and Azmi Sharom [1] I   INTRODUCTION             Malaysia experienced unprecedented economic growth from about 1980, averaging 8.4% average annual GDP growth up to 1997-8, when economic crisis hit all of South East Asia. This growth, premised on virtually uncontrolled development, exacerbated many environmental problems. [2] Under recent economic plans development has been undertaken at a rate that makes the express policy of sustainable development [3] itself difficult to sustain. The dramatic effect of Malaysia's economic and political strategy during this period has been to create a dynamic economy in which the benefits have been deliberately skewed towards the economically still backward but politically dominant ‘ bumiputera ’ community (Malays and n