Sustainability bond will position Malaysia as a regional sustainable lifestyle bub

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 (Bernama): The first Sustainability Bond in Malaysia for environmental and social initiatives to be issued by the government will position Malaysia as a regional hub for a sustainable lifestyle, said the head of a solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions company.

Plus Solar co-founder and chief executive officer Ko Chuan Zhen (pic) said given that sustainable bonds are loans used to finance projects that bring clear environmental and social-economic benefits, the company is excited to see the government take this bold action.

"As solar solutionists ourselves, we are happy to see that out of the total sustainable bonds issued in Asean so far, 47 per cent or RM2.89 billion relates to solar power plant projects," he said in a statement.

Ko also said the RM2 billion allocation under the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) is a great initiative especially for companies which plan to invest in green technology .

He noted that Plus Solar operates within the domains of the clean energy industry with end-to-end solar PV solutions.

"Commercial and industrial sectors stand to benefit from the GTFS with one of the main criteria being a 51 per cent legal Malaysian entity and utilisation of green technology.

"Given commercial and industrial buildings stand to save the most in terms of energy bills, the RM1billion for Industrial Digital Transformation Scheme can potentially assist these businesses to adopt Internet of things technology which can help make energy consumption more intelligent," he said.

Meanwhile, on the personal tax exemptions, Ko said while there is a higher lifestyle tax relief, raised from RM2,500 to RM3,000 for sports-related expenditure and e-news subscription, it would have been a good initiative for the government to look into tax exemptions for solar investments.

"This is to encourage further adoption of solar and clean energy," he said.

Ko said the company is pleased that the government, through cooperation with the United Nations (UN), will set up the Malaysia-SDG Trust Fund with an initial allocation of RM20 million.

In his Budget 2021 speech on Friday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz noted that Malaysia, together with other member states of the UN, agreed in 2015 to accept the 2030 Agenda and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"Now, for the first time, the annual budget is aligned with the SDGs so that our rakyat can move towards a more prosperous, more sustainable and inclusive future,” the minister said. - Bernama

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