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Urban housing and housing policy in Peninsular Malaysia

Using the case of Peninsular Malaysia, this article examines how the question of housing provision addresses a wide variety of social, political and ideological meanings which link the masses of third world urban populations to the changing pace of development, the expansion of capitalism in the periphery, and to the activities of the state. The long-standing shortage of accommodation for the ever increasing strata of urban poor, the persistence of illegal and substandard dwellings and regional disc parities in the quantity and quality of housing constructed continue to be consequences of the existing system of residential construction. Governments have seen squatters as a barrier to development because the latter's need for land is usually in conflict with the demands of an expanding modern sector. In this way, illegal land occupation reflects the way the urban masses come into conflict with capital and the state over how the appropriation, use and structure of urban space, is defined. [Download]

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Urban landownership, ethnicity and class in southeast Asian cities

This article presents information about urban landownership in Southeast Asian cities. The control over urban land, the exertion of property rights also means control over the reproduction of labor power. Ownership of urban land is, therefore, also ownership of the means of production. In the same way as rural land is the base for the production of food, urban land is the base for the production of living space. Despite the importance of the topic, data on urban landownership are extremely rare. This contrasts sharply with research on land tenure in rural areas. Theories and studies on landlords and peasants abound and very sophisticated schemes have been developed to deal with land tenure systems and with conflicts arising out of land concentration. Conflict between landlords and squatters is frequent but also rural urban migrants compete among themselves for urban land to be able to take part in the higher income opportunities that, in their perception, exist in third world cities. [Download]

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