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Top 6 Underdeveloped States In Malaysia

Not all the states of Malaysia are fully developed yet. There are some that need further development, especially with the current world situation bringing to light the issues concerning these underdeveloped states. Here are the Top 6 Underdeveloped States In Malaysia.


Governed By: PN

Sabah is a state of Malaysia that is in the region of East Malaysia. It along with its neighbor, Sarawak, enjoys a greater level of autonomy in administration, immigration, and judiciary which differentiates it from Malaysian Peninsula states.

Sabah is currently governed by Perikatan Nasional (PN), which oversees the state’s development. As one of the poorest states in Malaysia despite its rich oil resources, Sabah needs dire help to upturn the rate of poverty within its borders.

As such, the development of the state is needed to generate traffic and increase the income generated. One avenue of development can be the building of more residential areas, along with attractions such as major malls and outlets to entice people into visiting it.


Governed By: BN

Perlis is a state of Malaysia that is located in the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is the smallest state in Malaysia by both area and population.

Perlis is one of the states that is governed by Barisan Nasional (BN), with them bearing the responsibility of development. Plans for the development of Perlis have already started in 2012 and are slated to continue to 2030.

The plan involves the development of Perlis in all sectors to make it accelerate the growth of Perlis in a viable, equitable, and sustainable manner. For this, Perlis is set to continue its path of development in multiple areas to make the state more competitive and resilient.


Governed By: BN

Pahang is a federal state of Malaysia and is the third-largest in area and ninth-largest in population. Geographically located in the East Coast region of Peninsular Malaysia, this undeveloped state is currently governed by Barisan Nasional (BN).

The development of Pahang should involve the natural landmass that the state consists of, as sustainable land usage should increase to better use its natural resources. The development of this land would be the catalyst to increasing the state’s poor GDP, as it can better support itself, reducing the overall poverty levels within the state.


Governed By: PN

Kedah is a state of Malaysia that is in the north-western part of Peninsular Malaysia. It consists of the mainland and the Langkawi islands, with the mainland being used to grow rice with its relatively flat terrain.

Kedah is currently governed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) and as such, the development of this underdeveloped state falls to them. The proposed plan for the development of Kedah involves the increase of the investment inflow with the mission to make Kedah a high-income state.

The proposed plan involves three main themes, economy, people, and environment, all of which are proposed to be kept in mind for the years of development. However, as the implantation of the development plan has only happened in recent years, its full effect has yet to be seen.


Governed By: PN

Kelantan is a state in Malaysia that is located in the north-eastern corner of the peninsula. It is currently governed by Perikatan Nasional (PN), with them being responsible for the development of this underdeveloped state.

Kelantan’s proposed development plan, ongoing since 2019 and soon to be completed in 2023 has been put into action for the purpose of economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. The objective of growth is to better the aspects that the state still finds lacking.

In Kelantan, the points of improvement are to raise the state’s low GDP, increase the water reserves, reduce flooding, expand usage of idle land, and produce an inventory of greenhouse gasses at the state level. All of which will help develop the state beyond its current underdeveloped state.


Governed By: PN

Terengganu is a state in Malaysia that has many islands located close to its coast, which includes the Perhentian Islands and Redang Island. The state is currently governed by Perikatan Nasional (PN), which is responsible for the further development of the state.

In development, sectors were identified to better understand which areas need development to improve the state. These included housing, industry, tourism, commercial, and urban design.

As one of the underdeveloped states in Malaysia, Terengganu has one of the lowest GDPs in Malaysia, a problem that needs to be solved if the state is to be developed. Along with this, another major problem that should be developed is waste generation causing environmental erosion.


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