Govt Calls For More Youth Involvement To Shape Malaysia’s ESG Agenda

The government has called for more involvement and contribution from the youth in shaping the future of Malaysia by emphasising environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives.

Economy Deputy Minister Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib said as the youth are the future leaders of the country, they should have a say in the development of sustainability initiatives and be part of the green agenda to make a positive impact on Malaysia’s future.

“With their passion, advocacy, and aptitude for innovation, the youth possess the power to transform climate challenges into stepping stones towards a more resilient future.

“Their unwavering commitment will drive the transformative solutions needed to navigate the currents of change,” she said in the opening keynote address at the Youth Sustainability Forum 2023, here today.

Hanifah said her ministry, as the master coordinator for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Malaysia, plays an important role in giving exposure to all parties, especially regarding policies involving the SDG.

“The Economy Ministry, in collaboration with various parties, including the private sector and non-governmental organisations, will soon implement various awareness programmes to ensure all Malaysians understand the term sustainable development and translate it into daily activities,” she told reporters after the forum.

Bursa Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said embracing sustainability is no longer an option but a must and companies must comply with the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2021.

“Companies which ignore sustainability or ESG consideration in business strategy and operations will not be sustainable and will be deprived of both equity and debt financing to fund their projects,” he said in his special address, titled “Sustainability and Pathways to Net Zero: A Corporate Leaders Perspective”.

He added that companies which do not adhere to ESG compliance will face difficulty to hire the human capital talent necessary to drive their business.

“Nor will they be able to sell their products or be part of the global supply chain as customers become more discerning in buying only sustainable products in the future,” Abdul Wahid said.

He said Bursa Malaysia had launched the Bursa Carbon Exchange (BCX) in December 2022 to enable companies to trade voluntary carbon credits from climate-friendly projects and solutions to offset their emission footprint and meet climate goals.

“BCX is the world’s first Shariah-compliant carbon exchange and fulfils both Shariah and ESG principles,” he said.

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