Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects, which have similar ownership structures, demonstrate how the interests and agency of local actors matter, as they can support, co-opt, or subvert large-scale projects for their own ends. Photo: AFP Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects, which have similar ownership structures, demonstrate how the interests and agency of local actors matter, as they can support, co-opt, or subvert large-scale projects for their own ends. Photo: AFP
Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects, which have similar ownership structures, demonstrate how the interests and agency of local actors matter, as they can support, co-opt, or subvert large-scale projects for their own ends. Photo: AFP
Francis E. Hutchinson
Opinion

Opinion

Francis E. Hutchinson and Tham Siew Yean

Tale of two Belt and Road Initiative port projects in Malaysia shows limits of Chinese money

  • The Kuantan Port expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects show that while China may provide funds, domestic actors also play an important role
  • Despite Malaysia’s political turmoil, the Kuantan project continued to receive government support, but the Melaka project is a different story

Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects, which have similar ownership structures, demonstrate how the interests and agency of local actors matter, as they can support, co-opt, or subvert large-scale projects for their own ends. Photo: AFP Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects, which have similar ownership structures, demonstrate how the interests and agency of local actors matter, as they can support, co-opt, or subvert large-scale projects for their own ends. Photo: AFP
Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Expansion and Melaka Deepwater Port projects, which have similar ownership structures, demonstrate how the interests and agency of local actors matter, as they can support, co-opt, or subvert large-scale projects for their own ends. Photo: AFP
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Francis E. Hutchinson

Francis E. Hutchinson

Francis E. Hutchinson is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Malaysia Studies Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Tham Siew Yean

Tham Siew Yean

Tham Siew Yean is Professor Emeritus at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and a Visiting Senior Fellow with the ISEAS – Yusof ishak Institute in Singapore.