Tengku Zafrul: Malaysia on the right track towards sustainability by 2050

Tengku Zafrul: The government is committed to implement development projects and programmes that prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (The Edge filepix by Zahid Izzani)

Tengku Zafrul: The government is committed to implement development projects and programmes that prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (The Edge filepix by Zahid Izzani)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23): Malaysia is on the right track towards sustainability by 2050 and to date, at least 44 out of 54 Sustainable and Responsible Investment Funds (SRI) have been approved by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) within two years.

Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the government is committed to implement development projects and programmes that prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the 112th People’s Financial Report (LKR 112) released on Friday (Sept 23), he said Malaysia would cooperate with Asian countries with the same vision through the Asia Zero Emission Community, in achieving the goal of becoming a carbon neutral country as early as 2050.

“As at end of December 2021, 94% of the 50 companies in Malaysia have adopted an ESG strategy and 68% have an emission reduction policy.

“Global ESG assets are estimated to exceed US$53 trillion (US$1=RM4.56) by 2025, over one-third of the projected US$140.5 trillion total assets under management,” he said.

He said companies need to practice ESG elements, open up opportunities and access to financing related to sustainability and investment, and receive incentives for ESG-focused programmes, in line with the empowerment of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

The minister said among steps taken by the government to achieve these goals is the implementation of the Principles of Good Governance (PGG) for Government-Linked Investment Companies (GLIC).

He said the PGG include, among others, recommendations to establish a governance structure for the oversight of ESG elements in future investment strategies.

“GLICs collectively manage RM1.7 trillion in assets, thus, have great influence in the context of guiding and empowering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the GLIC ecosystem to embrace ESG principles.

“TNB (Tenaga Nasional Bhd) and Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Bhd) have recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen cooperation in advancing innovative decarbonisation solutions to support the goal of becoming a carbon neutral country by 2050,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said that overall, the government has channeled RM20.958 billion to 357,988 employers through the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) to maintain the employment of 2,960,265 local workers, in an effort to reduce the unemployment rate among Malaysians.

On the Malaysia Short-Term Employment Programme (MySTEP), he said a total of 63,593 personnel have been successfully placed through this programme, consisting of 36,781 personnel in the public sector and 26,812 personnel in government-linked companies (GLCs) and their strategic partners for this year, as of Sept 2.

“Under Budget 2022, MySTEP offers 80,000 contractual job opportunities, including 50,000 jobs in the public sector and 30,000 jobs in GLCs and strategic partners from January 2022.

He said as of end-2021, MySTEP has successfully achieved the overall target of 50,000 job opportunities for 2021, by placing a total of 63,221 personnel.

“Of this total, 41,680 personnel have been successfully placed in the public sector, while 21,541 personnel have been placed in GLCs and their strategic partners,” he said.

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