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Malaysia (Peak Oil 1996)

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Malaysia is the largest exporter of palm oil in the world. Recently, it has been destroying its millennia-old rain forests to expand its palm oil production. Other countries are willing to pay a great deal of money (around US$500/barrel, around the same as oil) to obtain it.

Pre-Peak

Before peak oil, Malaysia was a quickly-growing economy. Growing at 8-9% per year, it had started various mega-projects, like the new cities of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, and the Petronas Towers. Mahathir Mohammad (prime minister from 1981 to 2000) had jump-started Malaysia's growth, but not without some controversy. Malaysia seemed on track to join the ranks of the so-called "developed" nations by 2020, while urban areas like Kuala Lumpur already boasted shopping malls that would make many Americans jealous.

Post-Peak

Malaysia's darkest days were in 2000, during the so-called "Singapore-Malaysia confrontasi". Mahathir, wanting to show strength, but instead over-reacting by almost all accounts to Singapore's "refinery taxes" (whereby Singapore unilaterally decided to take a percentage of all oil refined on its offshore islands) and feuding with Singapore on many other issues, ordered a secret invasion of the Jurong Island complex and Pulau Bukom. This almost sparked war between Singapore and Malaysia. Mahathir, severely criticized by the Malaysian citizens, as well as those in his own party, resigned in November of 2000, being replaced by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who returned all Singaporean property as one of his first moves, and concentrated on the export and domestic use of palm oil. Prime Minister Abdullah also put in place massive fuel conservation measures and began the "One Child is Best" campaign to have people limit family size. Furthermore, he has completely mended ties with Singapore. More than 6 years later, Malaysia is standing strong compared to many other Southeast Asian nations.

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