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Malaysia’s Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023: What Businesses Need to Know

Discover how Malaysia's Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023 impacts businesses, the stricter regulations, and the increased penalties for non-compliance.

The Dewan Negara, the upper house of the Parliament of Malaysia, has recently passed the Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023. The amendments aim to strengthen enforcement, prevent environmental pollution, and increase penalties for environmental crimes in Malaysia. Here's a brief overview of the amendments and their potential implications for businesses. 


The Amendments 

The new bill features 28 Sections of amendments to the existing Environmental Quality Act (EQA) 1974. Among key areas of change are the consolidation of two sections, namely Section 29A and 29AA to strengthen the provisions relating to open burning besides stricter pollution control measures, enhanced waste management protocols, and increased penalties for non-compliance. 

The bill also emphasizes a greater responsibility on businesses to adopt sustainable practices. It mandates stricter environmental impact assessments for new projects and introduces more comprehensive reporting requirements. 

Implications for Businesses 

Stricter Pollution Control and Waste Management 

Businesses, particularly those in the manufacturing, energy, agriculture, and tourism sectors, might need to revise their operational strategies. The new regulations demand a more rigorous approach to pollution control and waste management. 

Companies will need to invest in advanced technology and infrastructure to meet the enhanced standards. They may also need to train their staff to ensure compliance with the new protocols. 

Increased Penalties for Non-compliance 

The amendment bill introduces stiffer penalties for businesses failing to comply with environmental regulations. This could mean stricter legal consequences such as paying a minimum fine range of not less than RM5,000, a maximum fine not exceeding RM10 million, and mandatory imprisonment not exceeding five years.  

Businesses must, therefore, prioritize compliance to avoid such penalties. This might require allocating more resources towards environmental management systems and compliance checks. 


Greater Responsibility and Reporting Requirements 

This legislative development is crucial for businesses in Malaysia to limit their environmental impact. It highlights the increasing importance of environmental compliance and the government’s intensified efforts to enforce environmental laws.  


To ensure compliance with the new bill, businesses and industries need to prioritize staying informed about the latest environmental regulations and standards. Maintaining a legal register can provide a comprehensive overview of relevant regulations, aiding businesses in staying informed and compliant. Engaging environmental consultants can also be beneficial, as they can offer expert guidance and assistance in understanding and implementing regulatory requirements, ensuring tailored compliance strategies and ongoing adherence to regulations. 


If you want to understand the impact of the new Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023 on your business, feel free to contact us for assistance and information. Alternatively, you can subscribe to our legal register to receive the latest regulatory updates.    


Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  


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