Zurina Amnan is the CEO of Bionas Group of Companies. She has been key in mapping out the Group's core strategies. She leads the operational supply chain, and business and corporate relations of the Group. Prior to Bionas, she has acted in the capacity of Chief Executive of several national and notable organisations within the entrepreneurship development, wireless technology and investment sectors in Malaysia, Singapore and China. Her leadership quality has extended Bionas’ global presence to more than 50 countries. Her passion towards clean energy and renewable fuel is expressed through her offer for technology collaboration/transfer to any countries in the world to streamline and implement their National Biofuel Policy. A speaker at numerous international events, she became one of the Climate Change Leaders for her participation during the 2011 UNEP Governing Council Global Ministerial Environment Forum in Nairobi, and was invited to chair one of the Round Table Discussions at the UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York. For her remarkable efforts in green and clean energy, she has been acclaimed with award and recognition from California Takshila University in the U.S for excellent work in promoting energy independency and is the recipient of an Appreciation Letter from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She holds a Degree in Political Science from the International Islamic University Malaysia.
Energy in Malaysia
The recently elected Malaysian government is committed to enhancing good governance and transparency. The current focus is on creating green markets, enhancing demand side management (DSM) for energy, increasing the renewable energy (RE) share in the generation mix, encouraging low carbon mobility and managing waste holistically. In this regard, the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change was established to ensure better coordination of energy, environment, climate change and green technology-related matters. Measures to address climate change will be further intensified through reduction of GHG emissions in the key emitting sectors, namely energy, transport, waste, industrial processes and product use as well as Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). These measures will include greater use of renewable energy, optimisation and demand side management (DSM) for energy, encouragement of lowcarbon mobility and construction of green buildings. The adoption of the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) concept in expanding green market and better waste management towards circular economy will contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions.
As an open economy, Malaysia continues to face challenges related to external economic risks. These challenges include the moderation of commodity prices, US protectionist trade policies, economic rebalancing of China and geopolitical uncertainties. The digitalisation agenda will be actively pursued for higher digital adoption in the public service. Various digital tools will be utilised in undertaking the government’s digitalisation agenda.
Malaysia is amply endowed with Renewable Energy (RE) and biofuel sources. The Green Technology Policy was launched to promote the utilisation of low carbon energy and technology of which RE has been identified as the promising low carbon option. Malaysia is looking to rely on more sustainable sources of energy as the cost of fossil fuels increases every year. Under the National Biofuel Policy plan, biofuels were to be produced for transport, industry, and export, while the government would develop home grown biofuel technology and second-generation biofuels.
Market design is an important focus area for the adoption of the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Concept and the creation of a green market. A proactive approach has been adopted to catalyse the creation of green markets by implementing the Government Green Procurement (GGP), and by focusing on green products and services. Malaysia is focusing on green buildings in a bid to reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry. The country aims to quantify and lower the carbon footprint of construction projects, by guiding the design, construction and operation of buildings in a low-carbon and sustainable manner. These approaches show government efforts and commitment towards reducing GHG emissions.
The electricity subsector relies heavily on fossil fuel sources, particularly coal and gas, resulting in over 50% of carbon emission in the national GHG emissions profile. The utilisation of renewable energy sources such as solar, micro and pico-hydro, as well as biomass, will be encouraged. The exploration will include a study on technical viability and potential commercial application of new renewable technologies such as micro grids and energy storage. Efforts will be undertaken to promote the generation of electricity from biomass and biogas, especially from palm oil waste and municipal solid waste. The emphasis on renewable energies is in tandem with the national commitment to reduce GHG emissions intensity to GDP by 45% by 2030.
China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner. In 2013, the trade volume between the two countries reached US$106 billion, making Malaysia China’s third-largest trade partner in Asia. Discussions held during visit of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to China in August 2018 can illustrate the approach Malaysia may wish to take towards China in the future. The Prime Minister visited Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China, and Da-Jiang Innovations, a producer of drones and aerial photography systems. In addition, Mahathir witnessed the signing of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) on exporting Musang King durians to China, and also visited the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Malaysia is an active participant in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations and continues to endeavour so that trade regulations and trade measure can be in line with the countries development goals. In January 2018, the government suspended the 5 percent export tax for three months when crude palm oil prices were dropping, to prevent stockpiling and the decline in price and exports.
Malaysia has a strong potential to become a regional hub for data centres. According to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the data industry in Malaysia is expected to more than double to RM2 billion (US$ 483.85 million) by 2020. This growth was seen as a result of the increase in the use of big data analytics, cloud computing and data recovery. With emerging technologies, the atmosphere is good for Malaysia to become a regional data hub.
Taking into consideration the aspirations of the new Government, new priorities and emphases are being set to reform existing policies and outline the country’s socioeconomic targets for 2018- 2020. Efforts will focus on stimulating economic growth, while ensuring greater benefits for all segments of society. Malaysia will balance economic growth objectives and fiscal consolidation initiatives to ensure continuous and inclusive development without impairing growth prospects. More measures will also be undertaken to raise the income and purchasing power, especially for the bottom 40% of the household income group.
Green growth will not only ensure achievement of Malaysia’s sustainable development objectives, but also sustain economic growth, enhance environmental sustainability and promote greater wellbeing. Stronger governance will allow the expansion of green growth in all economic sectors, including green market. A resource and energy efficient economy will be able to minimize GHG emissions, pollution and waste as well as enhance water, food and energy security. Meanwhile, intensified mitigation and adaptation will increase resilience of the nation against climate change impacts and natural disasters.