Sustainable Development In Malaysia (2023)


There are many grand sustainability challenges facing society today. Life and livelihood are at risk from a wide range of immediate and interrelated threats, including climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and social inequity. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect the urgent need to act collectively in response to these challenges. Designed as an ambitious vision for a more sustainable future, the SDGs are a UN agenda for states, businesses and civil society((UN), 2017).

1.1The History of Sustainable development goals (SDG’s).

A report entitled "Our common future" was published in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), which was established in 1983. The report was known as the Brundtland Report after Gro Harlem Brundtland, the chairwoman of the Commission. As we understand it today, it developed the principles that guide sustainable development. Consequently, Brundtland cites poverty in the South and non-sustainable patterns of consumption and production in the North as the primary causes of environmental problems around the world. During this time, the term "sustainable development" was popularly used to describe a strategy that united development with the environment. In order to be sustainable, a development process must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet those same needs. Following a debate on the report in 1989, the UN General Assembly organized a UN Conference on Environment and Development(Nations, 1987). Figure 1, shows the history of the SDGs development(GHORBANI, 15 October 2020), Figure 2 show the SDGs and Figure 3 shows the important of focusing in each of the SDGs objective(Nation, November 2022).

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1.2Sustainable Development.

Sustainable development has many definitions, but the Brundtland Commission's is the most frequently used(Cerin, 15 February 2006,). It is important to note that this broad definition of sustainability will not limit the scope of the dissertation. In addition to addressing intergenerational equity, the explanation also touches on the importance of intergenerational equity. One of the key characteristics of sustainable development policy is its emphasis on conserving resources for future generations, as opposed to traditional environmental policy, which internalizes environmental degradation's externalities. Achieving sustainable development (SD) requires integrating economic, environmental, and social concerns throughout the decision-making process, which is only possible through the integration and acknowledgment of these concerns. In order for sustainable development to be successful, all aspects of decision making must take into account environmental, social, and economic issues.Decision making is at the core of all other sustainable development (SD) principles(Stoddart, June 2012). There are several common themes or goals that can be part of a sustainable development agenda that is locally relevant and culturally appropriate. UN Education for Sustainable Development International Implementation Scheme identified the following key elements of the concept(Nation, 2007):

1.Society: identifying and understanding key social institutions, as well as democratic systems for expressing opinion, choosing governments, forging consensus, and resolving disagreements.

2.Environment: the knowledge that human activity and decisions affect the physical environment and that environmental concerns should be considered when developing social and economic policies.

3.Economic: Understanding the limits and potential growth of an economy, as well as how those limitations and potential growth affect society and the environment, as well as evaluating personal and societal consumption for environmental and social reasons.

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2.0 Sustainability development in Malaysia

As a developing country, Malaysia places a great deal of emphasis on balancing the needs of the people while producing and providing natural products without compromising the environment(Noranida Mokthsim, 2014). During the year of Malaysian's 4th Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, the efforts were seen even more drastic, where he invoked 'Mission Wawasan 2020'. Though Malaysia has become one of the ASEAN countries that have achieved its development targets, it strives to preserve the environmental aspects of its surroundings from eradication while we are making a development In addition to maintaining natural resources from one generation to the next, sustainability pertains to the implementation of any development that preserves them. As the development process takes place, it is important to ensure that the environmental quality does not suffer, now or in the future. Additionally, sustainable development involves minimizing or eliminating any environmental impact in the proposed development, and preventing any resource depletion. Several common goals or themes can be incorporated into sustainable development that is local and culturally appropriate.

2.1 Sustainable project in Malaysia

We will then examine Malaysia's sustainable development project and how it pertains to the Sustainable Development Goals.

(Video) Malaysia's Sustainable Development: The Decade For Action

1.River of Life (ROL)

2.Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS)

2.1.1 River of Life (ROL), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In order to elevate Malaysia to developed nation status, the Malaysian government has launched its Economic Transformation Project, River of Life (ROL). In addition to reconnecting communities to the river, the ROL will transform and invigorate them into vibrant waterfronts that embrace the rich historical, cultural, and heritage values of the city, and connect them to the surrounding urban fabric. A catalyst for long-term development in the region is expected as a result of the project, causing economic investment in the immediate surrounding areas. As a result of the ROL, over 35,000 new residents will be able to live in affordable housing, 1 million square meters of commercial space will become available, and more than 27,000 new jobs will be created. By increasing public transportation use to 60 percent within the master plan area, traffic demand will be reduced by 15 percent. An area of 781 hectares and 63 hectares of water bodies will be developed as part of a RM4.4 billion project encompassing a 10.7-kilometer stretch of riverside through Kuala Lumpur's historic core. A total of four phases and 11 precincts will be used to carry out the project, focusing on river cleaning, beautification, and economics(Construction+, 1 March 2018).

As part of its transformation plan, Greater KL/Klang Valley seeks to become among the world's 20 most liveable cities and their fastest growing economies by 2030. Furthermore, it strives to reach Class IIB, which is safe for body contact, in addition to providing better and promoting economic growth and development. Through renovations of the landscape, boardwalks, and historic buildings around the river stream, society is provided with an urban space which encourages healthy activities. In the near future, NKEA predicts that Nine Entry Point Projects will create 300,000 new jobs. In the Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur, these projects are instrumental to the growth of the economy. A combined Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) network, greening of the city, and the greening of iconic places are some of the EPPs most likely to impact Kuala Lumpur and act as magnets for growth. The entire project budget for all three components comes to RM4 billion (USD950 million), and funds were primarily provided by the Federal Government, with approximately 25% coming from Kuala Lumpur City Hall.(Ghazali, 7 January 2020).

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Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's historical centre, the city council is focusing on creating a vibrant and liveable waterfront with high economic value along the confluence of the Klang River and Gombak River. A riverfront with native flora and fauna was intended to be a gathering place for people and communities. In order to implement the program, the council identified three key catalysts:

1.Aesthetics - preserving and highlighting historical and cultural identity

2.Financial - Increasing tourism leads to job creation in the historical district and a regeneration of the historic district

3.Community - KL residents feel a sense of belonging and ownership.

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The project included a number of initiatives for urban regeneration and pedestrianization. The following are included:

1.Historic restoration of Masjid Jamek, Lebuh Pasar, and the Makhamah Persekutuan vicinity;

2.Pavillions, pocket parks and plazas will be created by closing several vehicular roads;

3.Amenities such as improved crossings and sidewalks for pedestrians, as well as improving the pedestrian network and pedestrian amenities;

(Video) SDG Malaysia - Basics of The SDGs: Faiz Hadzim & Stephen Homer (UNGC Malaysia)

4.Regeneration of native species and pedestrian shading;

5.The river bank serves as a link between historical and cultural attractions.

Having created a people-centric and well-connected pedestrian network, motorized vehicles are no longer a significant mode of transportation in the area. Through pedestrianisation initiatives in the historic district, fossil fuel use will be reduced at the same time as motorised vehicle use will be reduced. In regenerating the old urban core of the city and reestablishing the city's connection to the river, the beautification of the river can be seen as part of a placemaking initiative. The result could be a greater sense of ownership by residents and an increase in tourism. Economic regeneration of the area, including job creation and affordable housing, will be facilitated by improved river water quality and flood mitigation potential. A continuous 10.7 km of walkways and cycle ways will be created in the historic district after the completion of the River of Life project. A pedestrian bridge will improve pedestrian connectivity within the historic district, while also beautifying the river. There is also an expectation of improving the river water quality of 8 rivers (totaling 110km) from their WQI Class III - V to an improved Class IIB.

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2.1.2Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS)

Malaysia's capital and largest city is Kuala Lumpur, which is officially the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. As of 2016, the population of this global city is estimated to be 1.73 million and it covers an area of 243 km2. A metropolitan agglomeration of 7.25 million people is Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley. In terms of population and economic development, it is one of Southeast Asia's fastest-growing metropolitan regions. Simpang Airport, the first airport in Kuala Lumpur, opened in 1952 and served as Malaysia's primary airport until 1965, considering the transportation modes available to the city. The Kuala Lumpur Mini Bus service began operating in 1975 and is one of the oldest in the country. From the 1950s to the present, Kuala Lumpur has been dotted with taxis. As part of a plan to improve public transport in Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur's bus system was also introduced. In addition to its extensive road network, Kuala Lumpur has a large network of public transportation, including rapid transit, subways, bus rapid transit, monorails, commuter trains and airport rail links. As more vehicles enter the capital region each year, the number will continue to increase. In 2006, public transportation usage was among the lowest in Asia despite the availability of several infrastructures and facilities. Due to this, traffic congestion remains a major problem in the city.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall has chosen the Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) to improve the planning and traffic flow in the city as part of the Structural Plan Kuala Lumpur 2020. This is a step towards improving the management of the Klang Valley's transport infrastructure system. Introducing ITIS will help Kuala Lumpur alleviate traffic woes of road users in the Klang Valley by collecting, sharing, and making available accurate and up-to-date traffic information. By integrating the current road transportation network, IT IS can provide accurate traffic condition information to motorists and commuters in advance, so both can plan accordingly.

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A design-build contract was awarded for ITIS in 2003, and this was the first step toward coordinating the existing but separate traffic planning and management systems in Kuala Lumpur. It provides real-time reporting and incident management for city staff since mid-2005 when the first stage of the ITIS project was completed. More than 250 CCTV cameras were installed at key intersections for traffic monitoring, 700 video-based vehicle detection stations, 140 status message signs, and 1600 vehicle tracking machines were installed as part of this large-scale complex project. Real-time information is shared with the public via a call centre, an online portal (, and radio broadcasts. The commercial media is being used to expand diversification of communication channels(Kong, 16 August 2020).

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Kuala Lumpur City Hall's ITIS project is one of its ongoing initiatives in promoting a safe city with a well-managed transportation infrastructure. Several challenges faced this complex project during its physical implementation. To support the new transportation system installation, over 1000 new pieces of road furniture were built in the project. There were multiple poles that had to be recombined into a single functional unit because of the limited space in the center of the city. Moreover, the project requires a number of partners, such as traffic engineers, transport planners, transportation system analysts, IT, GIS, civil and electrical engineers, legal advisers, and customer service representatives. As a result of the large scope of the project, many stakeholders were involved. As a result, managing expectations from all sectors was also taken into consideration to guarantee the project's success.

The European Union defined Integrated Transport System (ITS) in July 2010 as an information and communication technology-based system for road transport, which includes infrastructure, vehicles, users, traffic management, and other modes of transportation. In spite of the fact that ITS may refer to all modes of transportation, it has been defined by the European Union since 7th July 2010. There are many different conditions in which ITS can improve transport efficiency. Motorists and commuters have largely benefited from this system in major cities throughout the world. Other major cities around the world have similar systems as well, such as Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Perth. The technology could also solve many problems related to traffic congestion and safety in newly developed cities.

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3.0 Sustainable development agenda

The Malaysian government has also performed a sustainable assessment in addition to the number of initiatives discussed by researchers. Among them are the Green Building Index (GBI)developed by PAM and ECEM, MyCrest developed by CIDB and JKR and MyHIJAU govern by MGTC throughMinistry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change. All of the initiatives are developed by government and government agencies, along with non-governmental organizations driving the policies. There have been several approaches taken, which are discussed in the following initiatives.

3.1Green Building Index (GBI)

Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) and Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) are NGO and have developed the Green Building Index (GBI) for the purposes described in this document, and it may be updated and/or modified at any time. In developing the GBI, PAM and ACEM have taken every precaution to establish and acknowledge the copyright of the information and materials used, and have attempted to contact the copyright owners known to them. However, it is possible that some of these omissions may have occurred. GSB reserves all rights in reference to the Green Building Index and GBI, which are a copyright of Greenbuildingindex Sdn Bhd (in short "GSB") and are protected by all applicable laws. GBI is governed by GSB, which is responsible for all PAM and ACEM rights. There is no use, modification, reproduction, storing in a retrieval system, or transmitting of any part of the GBI without the prior written consent of GSB.

(Video) Malaysia and its plan to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The GBI is one of the most popular assessment tools in the building sector because it aims to reduce energy consumption, conserve natural resources, and recycle materials, while maintaining the sustainability of ecosystems and ensuring the building is in accordance with the Malaysian climate, traditions, culture, and environment. The GBI is divided into six different rubrics, including energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, sustainable site planning and management, material and resource efficiency, and innovation. The report also emphasized providing basic human needs, controlling climate change, ensuring financial stability, improving indoor environmental quality, and subsidizing waste.

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3.2 Malaysian Carbon Reduction and Environmental Sustainability Tool (MyCREST)

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) has announced that MyCREST (Malaysian Carbon Reduction and Environmental Sustainability Tool) has been rated five stars. Taking into account a more holistic view of the built environment life cycle, this program guides, assists, quantifies, and reduces the built environment's impact in terms of carbon emissions. In addition to integrating socioeconomic issues relating to the built environment, the project seeks to incorporate environmental aspects. MyCREST was launched by CIDB in 2015, in collaboration with the Public Works Department (PWD). Building projects with RM50 millions and over are required to use MyCREST under MyCREST. Using MyCrest, it has great potential in reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability.

The objective of MyCREST is to build a 'scoring plan' that serves as the basis for the assessment of a building for sustainability certification. This is done by combining three basic tools. Based on the three basic lifecycle stages of a building, MyCREST assessment, recognition and award are divided into three basic tools.

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3.3MyHijau MARK

A government initiative called MyHijau, which is part of Malaysia's economic planning program, is introducing green procurement, a part of the government's MyHijau initiative govern by MGTC. The Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) is an agency of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) responsible for driving Green Growth, Climate Change Mitigation, and Green Lifestyle initiatives in the country. Malaysian construction industry studies have revealed that green procurement is still a relatively new concept. Thus, they are attempting to address the lack of knowledge in this area. A Government initiative to promote green products and services in Malaysia, the MyHIJAU Mark & Directory was launched in March 2008. 23 October 2012 was the date when the Green Technology and Climate Change Council (MTHPI) approved this programme. Its role is to promote, provide business advisory, verify, and monitor certified green products and services for Malaysian Green Technology And Climate Change Corporation (MGTC).

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4.0 Discussion

Efforts have been made by Malaysia to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the country has developed a National Sustainable Development Strategy. In addition to promoting sustainable economic growth and protecting the environment, the government is also striving to reduce poverty, inequality, and reduce environmental degradation. Furthermore, Malaysia has a number of private sector initiatives and civil society organizations aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Malaysia has been integrating sustainability agenda since year 2006 till now are still committed to it. Table 3, show the Malaysia plan that integrated with the sustainable development or SDG in a nation context.

Table 3: Malaysia Plan integrated with SDG

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Environmental impacts of construction are significant. It is possible for the process to harm the ecosystem if precautions are not taken to prevent damage. To ensure the continued success of these endeavours, the Malaysian government has placed a high priority on improving sustainability in construction today and for the foreseeable future. New technology has become crucial to reducing the industry's environmental impact. A number of initiatives and approaches have also been discussed by the Malaysian government and other government agencies. A long-term plan has been in place for this initiative and approach. There is always a focus on sustainable development within the government, as evidenced by these actions. In the current state of affairs, Malaysia's government is not taking strict measures to improve the environment. In order to ensure everyone is practicing sustainable development in their daily routines, not just industry people, adapting the sustainable concept to our culture could be one of the most effective ways.

Malaysian government is confident and committed to achieving the 2030 Agenda. Through sustained, systematic and dedicated efforts, the nation has demonstrated it is possible to achieve "more ambitious" targets. Malaysia is already aligning the SDGs with the 12MP and existing sectoral plans to ensure they are implemented smoothly. There are three key themes, four major policies, 14 game-changers, and eight macroeconomic strategies outlined in Priorities and Focuses to enhance public service delivery, enhance regional development, empower human capital, ensure environmental sustainability, and strengthen economic growth.


(Video) Montage Malaysia Sustainable Development Goals (MySDG) 2019

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(Video) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is the 2030 core agenda in sustainable development.

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