Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri on September 27, 2021, announced the latest national five-year plan, the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (hereinafter “the Plan”). The Plan focuses on three main themes: (1) resetting the economy, (2) strengthening Security, wellbeing and inclusivity, and (3) advancing sustainability. Of these, Theme (3) advancing sustainability provides matters related to the environment and chemicals in its Chapters 8 and 9. Specifically, the Plan proposes diverse policy measures including the introduction of EPR regulations on e-waste, a feasibility study on carbon pricing and the enactment of new laws and regulations on chemicals management.
The Plan can be downloaded from the following URL.
The outline of the Plan is as follows:
Climate change and energy
- Conduct a feasibility study on carbon pricing, such as carbon tax and the Emission Trading Scheme.
- Review incentives provided to local manufacturers to produce green vehicles and the purchase of these vehicles by consumers.
- Encourage adoption of fuel economy standards to increase fuel efficiency for new vehicles.
- Expand the B20 biodiesel programme that contains 20% palm methyl ester in stages and introduce the B30 programme at the end of the Plan.
- Regulate the use of energy by high-intensity consumers in the industrial and commercial sectors through the introduction of energy conservation act.
Circular economy and waste management
- Develop relevant policies, legislation and economic instruments to facilitate the transition to the circular economy.
- Review the relevant policies and legislation to incorporate eco-design requirements, including the use of recycled materials.
- Introduce a new regulation on household e-waste to implement the EPR for e-waste, covering other types and streams of waste, particularly packaging materials and single-use plastics.
- Develop a comprehensive database for all types of waste.
- Construct integrated waste management facilities. This will enable treatment of about 95% of waste and only 5% will be disposed at sanitary landfills.
- Review existing legislation, including the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Customs Act 1967, to control waste imports and exports.
- Discourage single-use products, including plastics and packaging materials in eateries and at public events.
- Construct integrated scheduled waste treatment and disposal facilities to minimize illegal dumping and increase the recycling rate of scheduled waste to 35% by end of 2025.
- Establish a dedicated task force to coordinate and oversee the overall management of chemical and hazardous substances, from the production to disposal stages.
- Review existing legislation including the Environmental Quality Act of 1974, , the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 and the Poison Act 1952.
- Enact new legislation and make the notification and reporting of production, import, export, utilisation and management of chemical substances mandatory under the new legislation.
- Ban the import and export of selected mercury-containing products.
- Phase out the use of mercury and its compounds in manufacturing processes as well as the use of environmentally harmful pesticides and toxic chemicals.
- Review the Environmental Quality Act of 1974 and enhance existing regulations, master plans and guidelines while introduce new ones.
- Undertake studies on the effectiveness of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and the introduction of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA).
- Revise several existing laws to regulate emerging pollutants and increase penalties based on the polluter-pays principle.
- Carry out a study on Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) to determine the loading capacity of river segments.
- Enhance connections to existing regional sewage treatment plants to control sewage pollution.
- Build constructed wetlands (CWs) to treat wastewater and water collected in retention ponds.
- Build recovery centers to manage, treat, and convert sludge.
- Build an integrated wastewater treatment plants in newly established eco-industrial parks.
- Scale up the use of water-saving equipment labelled under Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme (WEPLS) in government premises and domestic and industrial users.
- Consider fiscal incentives to encourage usage of water-efficient products.