MSCP Speaker Series: Stakeholder Participation and Community Engagement

Join us for the final MSCP Scholar Speaker Series. Room 9-450A, 12:30pm -2:00pm, lunch will be served. Topics of presentation and discussion will include:

Dr. Minal Pathak
Towards Meaningful Stakeholder Participation in Transportation Planning: Lessons from Penang, Malaysia
Transport decisions can deliver wide-ranging benefits across multiple dimensions. In some cases, these could also lead to inequitable distribution of costs and benefits. Often, governments make these decisions based on advice from experts, offering limited opportunities for people to participate. Stakeholder engagement could be restricted to token processes to defend decisions already made. 

The seminar discusses the public engagement process for the Transportation Master Plan for Penang, Malaysia. The plan aims to reduce congestion and improve accessibility through a combination of mass transit, highways and an undersea tunnel. The infrastructure will be funded by coastal land reclamation. This is among Penang’s most ambitious development projects and the largest ever attempt to engage stakeholders. The plan has come under controversy with experts questioning the scale and economic viability of the plan. Concerns have emerged over potential environmental impacts from reclamation, loss of livelihood for fishermen and impact on heritage. The implementation is delayed as discussions between the government and stakeholders have reached a stalemate. This study examines the process as it evolved, including the strategy, methods and implementation, and the extent to which the engagement has influenced decision-making. The discussion will highlight federal state coordination, the role of civil society and possible approaches for more inclusive and participatory decision making. 

Dr. Alpano Priyandes
Strategies for Effective Community Engagement in Redeveloping Kampong Bahru, Kuala Lumpur
Kampong Bahru is among the oldest Malay enclave villages in Malaysia, located strategically in the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur. The uniqueness of Kampong Bahru presents a challenge for the government to redevelop Kampong Bahru. Recent study indicates that landowners and beneficiaries of Kampong Bahru were unwilling to undertake redevelopment due to their lack of involvement in the process of deciding how redevelopment should proceed. There have been various efforts from the government to redevelop Kampong Bahru; however, the planning is still delayed. Key informants such as government agencies, village heads, landowners and the beneficiaries’ association, as well as residents of Kampong Bahru, were interviewed to understand and identify the process and strategy of redevelopment and community engagement. Interviews with key informants also capture the the landowners and beneficiaries’ aspirations for the redevelopment’s shape, economic and social benefit, and preservation of cultural values. This qualitative research will analyze the following questions: How can the government engage the local community effectively to redevelop Kampong Bahru in order to achieve goals of economic development and preservation of local cultural values? What business models of development are suitable for the local community in Kampong Bahru? Can a collaborative process occur or not in the context of Kampong Bahru's society? Currently the development paradigm places communities as the main actors of development, while the role of government is no longer to act as a provider and implementer but rather as a facilitator and mediator to catalyze development.