Malaysian Government Approved Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023 with Tougher Enforcement for Sustainability

On 25 March 2024, the Malaysian government made substantial strides to combat environmental pollution with the Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023, the amendment from the Environment Quality Act 1974 (Act 127).

The proposed amendments to the Act are expected to significantly bolster enforcement capabilities, discourage environmental crimes and pollution, and ultimately allow for a more resolute response against environmental offenders. This legislation significantly increases penalties for various environmental offences, including water pollution, illegal waste disposal, and oil contamination. Offenders now face fines between RM5,000 and RM10 million, with the possibility of mandatory imprisonment of up to 5 years.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES) views these stricter penalties as a deterrent against environmental crimes and a way to bolster enforcement. Their plan extends beyond just harsher punishments. The next phase will tackle broader environmental governance issues, promoting environmentally friendly practices within industries and encouraging self-regulation. This two-pronged approach – harsher penalties and broader environmental reform – signifies the Malaysian government’s strong commitment to safeguarding the environment.

"The ministry is always committed to finalising this bill as one of the efforts to empower aspects of environmental conservation and preservation which are shared responsibilities."

Source: BERNAMAPix

The Malaysian government’s commitment to environmental protection through stricter Acts presents a unique opportunity for businesses to solidify their positions as sustainability leaders. Proactive companies that embrace Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles can gain a significant competitive edge. By investing in understanding ESG best practices and implementing sustainable solutions, businesses can ensure compliance with the new regulations and cultivate a reputation for environmental responsibility, which resonates with today’s socially conscious consumers and investors. This transition towards a greener future presents a win-win scenario for businesses and the environment.

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Source: Parliament of Malaysia

Click the image to read the full Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023

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