To promote environmentally sound and sustainable development, the Malaysian government has established the legal and institutional framework for environmental protection. Investors are encouraged to consider the environmental factors during the early stages of their project planning. Aspects of pollution control include possible modifications in the process line to minimise waste generation, seeing pollution prevention as part of the production process, and focusing on recycling options including self-regulation culture.
National Policy on the Environment (DASN) has been established for continuous economic, social and cultural progress and enhancement of the quality of life of Malaysians through environmentally sound and sustainable development.
The objectives of DASN are to achieve:
- A clean environment, safe, healthy and productive environment for present and future generations;
- Conservation of country’s unique and diverse cultural and natural heritage with effective participation by all sectors of society; and
- Sustainable lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production.
There are eight (8) principles listed under DASN to harmonize economic development goals with environmental imperatives:
- Stewardship of the Environment
- Conservation of Nature’s Vitality and Diversity
- Continuous Improvement in the Quality of the Environment
- Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
- Integrated Decision-Making
- Role of the Private Sector
- Commitment and Accountability
- Active Participation in the International Community
DASN seeks to integrate environmental considerations into development activities and in all related decision making processes, to foster long-term economic growth and human development, and to protect and enhance the environment. It complements and enhances the environmental dimensions of other national policies, such as those on forestry and industry, and takes cognizance of international conventions on global concerns.
The Environmental Quality Act 1974, and its accompanying regulations call for environmental impact assessment, site suitability assessment, pollution control assessment, monitoring and self-regulation in compliance. Industrial activities are required to obtain the following approvals from the Director-General of Environmental Quality prior to project implementation:
i. Environmental impact assessment for Prescribed Activities
ii. Written notification or permission to construct
iii. Written approval for installation of incinerator, fuel burning equipment and chimney
iv. Licence to occupy and operate prescribed premises and prescribed conveyances.