PETALING JAYA: The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and new norms have added a new set of environmental issues which requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders to improve and facilitate sustainable living, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic).
The Prime Minister said over the past year, the world had experienced an unprecedented socio-economic impact on, as well as the environment due to the pandemic.
Muhyiddin said according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Report 2020, it stated that the pandemic had caused further disruptions to the progress, which was already "off-track" by the end of 2019.
"The pandemic has provided brief reliefs with clearer skies and cleaner air especially during the movement control order (MCO).
"Similarly, global lockdowns have given respite to the environment as industrial activities were reduced but at the same time, new norms had added a new set of environmental issues such as wanton disposal of face masks and heavy usage of plastics for takeaways.
"Due to such activities, environmental initiatives took a back seat. So the challenge now is to restore economic activities without reactivating environmental degradation," he said in his keynote address during the virtual presentation ceremony of the Prime Minister's Hibiscus Award on Thursday (Feb 25).
The award gives recognition to participating companies committed in reducing the impact of their operations on the environment, in particular, given the intensifying pressures for businesses to engage themselves in sustainable development.
Muhyiddin said 2020 also went down as the year with frequent water disruptions, which affected households and businesses, especially in the Klang Valley, due to the irresponsible acts of dumping industrial waste into rivers.
He said the government would review the compounds and penalties under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 so that stern action could be taken against such offenders.
The Prime Minister also said the 2021 National Budget provided a number of allocations under the fourth strategy of Ensuring Resource Sustainability, aimed at positively influencing environmental decisions in line with SDGs.
"Among others, RM20mil was allocated under the Malaysia-SDG Trust Fund with the cooperation of the United Nations, that aims to systematically coordinate financing from public and private institutions in ensuring the SDG is achieved by 2030.
"The government will support bipartisan cooperation to localise SDG programmes with a sum of RM5mil to All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia on SDGs.
"In August last year, the first digital sukuk – Sukuk Prihatin – has exceeded the target of RM666mil in subscriptions.
"For this year, the first Sustainability Bond for environmental and social initiatives will be issued," he said.
Muhyiddin said income tax exemption for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) green sukuk grant would also be extended until 2025 to encourage the issuance of SRI products and bonds.
Apart from that, he said the government would continue the Green Technology Financing Scheme 3.0 with a funding of RM2bil for two years until 2022.
He said these measures serve as a great opportunity, especially for companies that plan to invest in green technology.
"Industrialisation in Malaysia needs to be environmental-friendly and adopt sustainable consumption and production approach," Muhyidin added.
This year, IOI Pan Century Oleochemicals Sdn Bhd was awarded the highest honours, bagging the Challenge Trophy in the 2019/20 Prime Minister's Hibiscus Award.
The firm based in Pasir Gudang was among 72 companies from the private sector which participated in the awards, the country's premier environmental awards that recognises environmental accomplishment and leadership.
The Awards also serve to create environmental awareness among enterprises that have yet to demonstrate stewardship and identify areas for improvement in environmental management.
Excellent Achievement Award
1. IOI Pan Century Oleochemicals Sdn Bhd (Pasir Gudang Johor)
2. Hengyuan Refining Company Berhad (Port Dickson, N. Sembilan),
3. Petronas Gas Berhad (Gas Processing Kerteh), Terengganu,
4. Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (Terengganu Crude Oil Terminal),
5. Petronas Gas Berhad (Utilities Gebeng), Terengganu.
6. Petronas Chemical Ammonia Sdn Bhd. (Kemaman, Terengganu)
Exceptional Achievement Award
1. Petronas Penapisan (Terengganu) Sdn Bhd
2. Petronas Chemicals Polyethylene Sdn Bhd
3. Press Metal Bintulu Sdn Bhd
4. Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd
5. Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (Terengganu Gas Terminal)
6. F&N Dairies Manufactuuring Sdn Bhd
7. Intel Technology Sdn Bhd
8. Petronas Gas Berhad (Regasification Terminal Sg. Udang)
Notable Achievement Award
1. BP Petronas Acetyls Sdn Bhd
2. Allnex Malaysia Sdn Bhd
3. HGST Malaysia Sdn Bhd
4. Petronas Chemicals (MTBE) Sdn Bhd
5. Nets Printwork Sdn Bhd
6. MISC Group
7. Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (Sarawak Oil)
8. Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd
9. Petronas Technical Training Sdn Bhd
10. Petronas Gas Berhad (Gas Processing Santong)
11. Panasonic Industrial Devices Malaysia Sdn Bhd
12. Top Glove Sdn Bhd
13. Intel Product Malaysia Sdn Bhd
14. Petron Oil Malaysia Sdn Bhd
15. Micron Semiconductor Malaysia Sdn Bhd
16. Sarawak Energy Berhad (Bakun Hydro Power Generation)
17. CCM Chemicals Sdn Bhd
18. Alam Flora Sdn Bhd
19. Kerry Ingredients Malaysia Sdn Bhd
20. Duopharma Manufacturing (Bangi) Sdn Bhd
21. Sarawak Energy Berhad (Mukah Power Generation Sdn Bhd)
22. Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (Sabah Oil & Gas Terminal)
23. Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd
24. Polyparts Sdn Bhd
25. Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Berhad (Port Dickson Refinery)
26. Petronas gas Berhad (Tg.Sulong Export Terminal)
27. Ban Hoe Seng Auto Sdn Bhd
28. Edsha Solutions Sdn Bhd
29. Shangri-La's Tg Aru Resort & Spa
30. F&N Beverages Manufacturing Sdn Bhd
31. Olive Tree Hotel Penang
32. Heraeus Materials (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
33. MMC Engineering Sdn Bhd
34. Sunpower Malaysia Manufacturing Sdn Bhd
35. Murum Hydro Power Generation Sdn Bhd
36. ToroZ BioayZia Sdn Bhd
Nets Printwork Sdn Bhd
Johor: IOI Pan Century Oleochemicals Sdn Bhd (Pasir Gudang Johor)
Selangor: F&N Dairies Manufacturing Sdn Bhd,
Pulau Pinang: Intel Technology Sdn Bhd,
N. Sembilan: Hengyuan Refining Company Berhad & Sime Darby Plantation Berhad
Melaka: Petronas Gas Berhad (Regasification Terminal Sg. Udang).
Special Projects Award
Gold: CCM Chemicals Sdn Bhd
Silver: Petronas Chemical Ammonia Sdn Bhd
Bronze: Petronas Penapisan Terengganu Sdn Bhd