Social Impact and Community Perception of Belt and Road Initiative Projects in Malaysia
Much has been written about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from a high-level perspective, utilizing a macro lens. While these narratives serve as drivers for institutional change associated with globalization and deglobalization, little has been done to study social impacts that BRI projects have on the communities where they are located. Recognizing the need to evaluate the extent of the BRI’s social impact on local communities in Malaysia, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the Merdeka Center, carried out a study evaluating the community impact of two BRI projects in Malaysia, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp’s Rolling Stock Center, and the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park. This report identifies locally driven issues and challenges and provides community-informed recommendations. These recommendations are offered to Malaysian and Chinese policymakers, as well as to the BRI’s bilateral and multilateral partners more broadly.