11th Malaysia Plan and the Environment: An Overview

The 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) was released on 21st May 2015 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. It is a national plan for the next five years of the country’s development, and powers the last leg of the race to Year 2020 when Malaysia plans to achieve the status of a developed nation.

Join us for this multi-part series as we read and review the 11MP with a focus on green growth and sustainable development.

Structure of the 11MP

The 11MP is published with one main document and 21 strategy papers related to the main document.  All the documents can be accessed and downloaded in full text here. The main document has 10 chapters and 370 pages, and is quite reader friendly with a good structure, clear writing and engaging infographics. Basically there are six strategic thrusts seen as game changers for our country’s advancement, as summarised below:

Six strategic thrusts of 11MP, Source: The Sun Daily

Six strategic thrusts of 11MP, Source: The Sun Daily

Green growth is one of the strategic thrusts and occupies one full chapter in 11MP, i.e. Chapter 6: Pursuing green growth for sustainability and resilience. The content is expanded in two strategy papers: Strategy Paper 11: Climate Resilient Development and Strategy Paper 12: Growth Through Sustainable Use of Natural Resources.

Green Growth as a Game Changer

In the 11MP, green growth is outlined as one of the six strategic thrusts that will enable Malaysia to stay ahead of challenges and opportunities in a fast-changing global and political landscape. It is the first time that the environment angle gets featured as a main strategic thrust (“Pursuing green growth for sustainability and resilience”) within a Malaysia Plan. This is an improvement from the 10th Malaysia Plan which did mention the environment, but mostly within the context of ensuring quality of life and not from a strategic standpoint on its own.

Within the 11MP, long term sustainability for future generations is mentioned, denouncing the “grow first, clean up later” model, as can be seen from the quote below:

Green growth refers to growth that is resource-efficient, clean, and resilient. It is a commitment to pursue development in a more sustainable manner from the start, rather than a more conventional and costly model of ‘grow first, clean up later’. A reinforced commitment to green growth will ensure that Malaysia’s precious environment and natural endowment are conserved and protected for present and future generations. (11MP, p.1-10)

Green growth is also seen as a “game changer”, with paradigm shifts such as the following:

From growth to green growth

Source: 11MP, p.1-14

Focus Areas of the Green Growth Strategic Thrust

There are four focus areas of green growth. For the next five years, we will be focusing on strengthening the enabling environment, promoting sustainable consumption and production, conserving natural resources, and strengthening resilience against climate change and natural disasters.

Here is an overview of the focus areas and their associated strategies:

  1. Strengthening the enabling environment for green growth
    1. Strengthening governance to drive transformation
    2. Enhancing awareness to create shared responsibility
    3. Establishing sustainable financing mechanisms
  2. Adopting the sustainable consumption and production concept
    1. Creating green markets
    2. Increasing share of renewables in energy mix
    3. Enhancing demand side management
    4. Promoting low carbon mobility Managing waste holistically
  3. Conserving natural resources for present and future generations
    1. Ensuring natural resources security
    2. Enhancing alternative livelihood for indigenous and local communities
  4. Strengthening resilience against climate change and natural disasters
    1. Strengthening disaster risk management
    2. Improving flood mitigation
    3. Enhancing climate change adaptation

Other Strategic Thrusts Related to the Environment

The 11th Malaysia Plan also touches on initiatives which could be considered environmentally friendly outside of Chapter 6 on green growth. Strategic thrusts Five and Six, “Strengthening infrastructure to support economic expansion” and “Re-engineering economic growth for greater prosperity” (Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 respectively) include aspects which are typically seen as environmentally friendly. Chapter 10 looks ahead, beyond 2020, envisioning a developed, low-carbon Malaysia with citizens who are “Passionate Stewards of the Environment”.

This article provides the overview of the 11MP. In the next parts of this series, we will be going deeper into Chapter 6 of the 11MP and its related strategy papers, as well as other chapters that touch on issues connected to the environment. Stay tuned for more!

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