Johor: People, Palm Oil and Places

About the Seminar

With some 3.7 million people, a large and diversified economy, well-developed infrastructure, and a strategic location, Johor is a key state in Malaysia. Over the past three decades, the state has undergone an economic transformation on the back of its manufacturing sector. However, in this last decade, Johor has made a consistent effort to develop its services sector, with the Iskandar Malaysia region seeking to attract investment in a range of priority areas from higher education to healthcare.

One new and increasingly visible priority sector is tourism, with federal and state governments as well as a range of private sector actors opening new facilities. The inflow of capital into the state has also been accompanied by far-reaching urban transformation in down-town Johor Bahru. Accompanying processes such as construction and the development of urban services have led to an increase in the number of foreign workers in the state.

These processes also exist alongside other older economic activities. Johor has deep capabilities in agriculture, as its large swathes of flat fertile land have allowed it to emerge as one of Malaysia’s key palm oil producers. All of this, combined with a growing population, coastal development and other land-hungry activities, have resulted in increasing pressure on the environment.

Building on conferences held in 2017 and 2018 on Johor’s economic transformation, this conference will focus on the inter-related themes of people, land use and management, and the environment.

Attendance at this event is free of charge but registration is required by 6 August 2019. As seats are limited, please register early. Admission to the event will be taken as confirmed upon written acceptance from ISEAS.

For any queries, please feel free to email:

Best wishes,

Dr Francis Hutchinson and Dr Serina Rahman

Seminar Conveners


You may download the tentative programme and registration form below:

1) Programme

2) Registration Form


Aug 13 2019


9:00 am - 1:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 1 & 2