Malaysia’s Dr M eyes giving green industries, jobs a shot in the arm
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Malaysia’s Dr M eyes giving green industries, jobs a shot in the arm

IN the next two years, Malaysia is looking to boost green industries and jobs in Southeast Asia as it takes on the chair of the Asean labour sector.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government hopes to influence regional policies on green industries during this period until 2020, working closely with non-Asean member countries such as China, South Korea and Japan to make meaningful headway for corresponding jobs and skills in the continent.

“Let us embark on our journey immediately. Malaysia will do its best to take the labour sector forward by incorporating green jobs and skills into the aegis of our chairmanship,” he said, as quoted by Bernama.

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Dr Mahathir said this during a speech read out by Human Resource Minister M. Kula Segaran at the opening of the 25th ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting.

With the new focus, the prime minister said the Asean labour sector is expected to see significant improvement in the promotion and adoption of green industries, which would invariably create employment opportunities in the field.

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(File) Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (L) gestures as Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad looks on during a tree planting ceremony at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, 29 June 2018. Source: Mast Irham/Pool via Reuters

Over the last two years, jobs in the green economy in Asean member countries grew by 3.2 percent amid overall economic growth of five to six percent.

According to the Development Bank of Singapore’s Annual Report 2017 on Green Job Opportunities in Asean, the growth saw 1.4 million new green jobs created.

“In the same vein, we have seen strong growth, particularly in the renewable energy sector such as wind and solar power, as well as the production of equipment and installations for heating and energy saving that subsequently create jobs in the region.

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“Looking forward, as technology evolves, we can expect an increase in the creation of new green jobs, and stronger growth in current occupations and greening industries,” he said.

For Malaysia, Dr Mahathir said the government targeted revenue of RM180 billion (US$45 billion) and the creation of 200,000 green jobs by 2030.

With the sector showing good potential, Dr Mahathir said it was important for the government and employers to begin promoting green jobs and skills as the regional ecomony is embracing the trend.

The prime minister added the greening of the regional economy also requires people to specialise in the related skills and adapt to changes.