Communities Taking Part: Challenges and Expectations of the Bottom 40 Neighbourhoods of Sri Pahang and Jalan Hang Tuah in Kuala Lumpur
Avella, G. 2017. Communities Taking Part: Challenges and Expectations of the Bottom 40 Neighbourhoods of Sri Pahang and Jalan Hang Tuah in Kuala Lumpur. UKM Ethnic Studies Paper Series No. 55, October. Bangi: Institute of Ethnic Studies.
Abstract: During the last years, Malaysia has presented a notable economic progress as well as a wave of immigration due to the mobility of people from rural areas and other countries to large cities. Kuala Lumpur, as one of the most dynamic and multi-cultural cities in Asia, has become economically stronger but has also faced social problems especially within low-income or urban poor communities. Drawing on the experiences of community stakeholders, this report explores grassroots structures and the perceptions of community members regarding their achievements, hurdles, and challenges in social, economic, and cultural aspects of community life. Likewise, it explores their expectations of the future as well as some areas of community participation in the neighbourhoods’ Sri Pahang and Jalan Hang Tuah. Although the interviewed community members seem to be very optimistic about the next years, there are still complaints regarding social ills such as organised crime and the existence of gangs, drug dealing, school dropout, and the lack of parking lots and green areas in the neighbourhoods. In addition, residents are facing financial restrictions as well as occasional racial divisions and misunderstandings which seem to affect the social cohesion, integration, and harmony of the community. This research ultimately contributes to the current debate on the identification of the main concerns at the grassroots level, on building capacities of low-income communities and future participatory approaches at the grassroots level in Malaysia.