Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Plus Solar, Ko Chuan Zhen said, the country’s recently announced Budget is aligned with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the first time in the history.
“We are pleased that the Government, through cooperation with the UN, will establish the Malaysia-SDG Trust Fund with an initial allocation of 20 million ringgit. This allows various parties to contribute and be involved in efforts to ensure the SDG is achieved by 2030. This encourages Malaysian companies to embrace sustainable goals, as they stand to benefit in the long term with better governance,” he said.
“As a solar solutionists ourselves, we are happy to see that out of the total sustainable bonds issued in ASEAN so far, 47%, or RM2.89bil, nearly half, relates to solar power plant projects,” he added.
Putrajaya has also allocated RM2 billion under the Green Technology Financing Scheme which will be in force until 2022. Furthermore, the RM1 billion for Industrial Digital Transformation Scheme can potential assist businesses to adopt IoT technology which can help make energy consumption more intelligent, he says.
“For personal tax exemptions, while there was a higher lifestyle tax relief, raised from RM2,500-RM3000 for sports related expenditure and e-news subscription, it would have been a good initiative for the Government to look into tax exemptions for solar investments – to encourage further adoption of solar and clean energy,” Ko says.
Group President and CEO of Maybank, Abdul Farid Alias has also said the bank is pleased to see the Budget has measures to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, promote green investing and protect the environment and natural resources.
“We also need to invest in enhancing sustainability for our communities – help those who lack access to everything necessary in life, such as education, medical services, jobs, financing, etc. And finally, we should all put in place the necessary governing procedures in organisations that allow proper checks and balances so that they will be able to make the right decisions at all times,” he said.