LABUAN: Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), wanted the people to practice greener lifestyle including those still studying in the universities.  

Its minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnnity Ongkili, said in this context, those who resides, work and study in the UMS Labuan International Campus should take up the role embracing the green lifestyle and in turn contribute to the success of Green Technology Policy of the country.  

He also said that there are various ways, which are easily practiced, in everyday life including austerity measures of electricity and water consumption in dorms and academic buildings. This could be translated to simply turning off lights and fans when not in use, make sure pipes are closed tight to prevent water wastage and so on. Additionally, the recycling methods of 3R, “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” are also one of the small simple steps, but effective that we can do everyday.  

"Residents are also encouraged to use campus biodegradable food containers at the college cafeterias," he said.  

Maximus is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Malaysian Green Foundation, had spoke during the opening the YaHijau Green Youth organized by Malaysian Green Foundation at the Centre Lecture Hall 1, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Labuan International Campus on Saturday.  

At the ceremony, he handed over a symbolic boat depicting the cleaning of beach by the university community, especially the students.  

Also present were the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Loo Took Gee; Deputy Secretary-General (Green Technology and Water), Datuk Harjeet Singh; Deputy Secretary (Energy), Dato' Dr. Nadzri Yahaya; Chief Operating Officer of Green Foundation Malaysia, Kelly Ang Lay Chieng and Deputy Director of the Campus, UMSKAL, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Harvey Tanakinjal representing the Director, Assoc. Prof Dr Murnizam Halik.  

Maximus said universities are a platform for students to equip themselves with knowledge and experience for future life journey. As the future leaders of the country, it is important that elements of sustainability are embedded within and take into account during decision-making process.

This approach also seeks to encourage innovative thinking and to spark new ideas in producing environmental-friendly products through research and development (R & D). In this context, the students also encouraged to seize the golden opportunities in the field of green entrepreneurship especially in developing local products that are not only environmental-friend, but also able to penetrate the market nationally and globally.

The UMS Management is also promoting such lifestyle by conducting energy audit to assess and identify potentials and opportunities of conserving energy throughout the campus. In addition, the management was encourage green expenditure, by procuring products which met the criteria and green standards as a noble effort towards conservation of the environment and minimizing negative impact of human activities. To achieve the status of a developed country by 2020 in another 5 years, the government hope that the people will play a role in making green lifestyle the lifestyle of the country.

Maximus stated that YaHijau Green Youth programme is part of the civic and educational initiatives led by Green Foundation Malaysia to cultivate a green lifestyle through application of green technology amongst the Malaysians. The objective of the program, which is a first held by YaHijau this year is to translate the mind-set change and the importance of green lifestyle amongst locals of Labuan, especially the youth for a better understanding, appreciation and practises of green concept in everyday life.

YaHijau program had the involvement of other KeTTHA agencies, such as National Water Services Commission (SPAN), Energy Commission (ST), Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC), Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), Jabatan Bekalan Air Labuan (Department of Water Works) as well as Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) and Sabah Electricity Sdn. Bhd. (SESB) for exhibitions and promotional activities. This would also a good way for the Ministries to be closer to the public.

The government has a great commitment to reduce the carbon footprint as what had been announcement by the Prime Minister of the country’s desire to reduce the release of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) to 40% carbon intensity in 2020, compared to the percentage in 2005. It is considered as the country’s effort in dealing with the issue of global climate change.

At the ministries level, efforts towards the reduction of GHG emission are supported with the launch of the Green Technology Policy in 2009. The policy defines the scope of green technology as well as the achievements of targets towards the year 2020. It also sets the direction towards a sustainable and integrated development to ensure a better environment for future generations.

With all the initiatives and efforts that have been undertaken, thus far Malaysia has managed to reduce the emissions intensity by 33% compared to the target of 40%. This achievement is an encouraging development, and most have been through the application of clean and advanced technology, and the use of environmentally friendly fuel.

In addition, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in its report on Roadmap of Carbon Intensity Reduction in Malaysia has projected that the reduction in carbon intensity of 44% by 2020 and 53% by 2030 potentially achievable if the mitigation measures identified in the energy sector, processing industry, waste management, agriculture and land use is fully implemented. Moving forward, the Green Technology and Climate Change Council (MTHPI), which the Prime Minister himself chaired, has approved several measures to meet the aspirations of the Green Technology development agenda and address the issue of climate change in the country.

In order to provide direction and a conducive environment to support the development of green technology, KeTTHA has drafted Green Technology Master Plan, which have been agreed in the council meeting. The Master Plan contains a strategy and action plans, focusing on enhancing the potential of green business beyond 'business as usual', with an estimated contribution of RM22.4 billion to the GDP in 2020 and RM60 billion by 2030.

The implementation of the Master Plan is expected to enhance the creation of green jobs of 84,565 workers in 2014 to 144,590 workers in 2020 and moreover, as many as 211,500 workers in 2030.

In the meantime, to ensure that the waste management sector is more dynamic and efficient, the National Waste Grid through collaboration between KeTTHA and the Malaysian Industry Government for High Technology (MIGHT) will be implemented. This programme is expected to generate new economic growth based on rapid production of high-quality green products using a holistic approach to waste management based on the model of smart public-private partnership.

Through this approach, the use of waste as feedstock, from generation process right up to the waste disposal process can be expanded and encourage the recycling industry to thrive, provide good returns to the country as well as conserve the environment. High-quality green products generated from this waste can be recycled and reduce the dependency towards natural resources.

MTHPI has also agreed to strengthen the Green-Blue Packaging industry in Malaysia to create green packaging industry. This will contribute to the development of local green technology industry and help the growth and improvement of Small and Medium Enterprises. Therefore, the basis for the use of the Green-Blue Packaging will be developed and support the development of Putrajaya as the Green Municipal. Green-Blue Packaging Policy will be utilised by food premises within the vicinity of Putrajaya as pilot projects.

In the effort of improving the growth of electric vehicles in Malaysia, the creation of the National Electric Mobility Action Plan was approved. The action plan focuses on three key areas, namely promoting and encouraging electric vehicles in public transport; electric mobility ecosystem and strengthen the infrastructure of charging stations and speed up development opportunities for local electric mobility technology. A total of 300 charging stations with RM5 million funds will be built throughout the year of 2015.

KeTTHA established Green Foundation Malaysia, or YaHijau, on March 2 2014 as a not-for-profit organisation. It is responsible for promoting and enhancing the understanding, exposure and appreciation as well as widespread interest in empowering a green lifestyle among the people, including both schools and university students.

YaHijau establishment is in line with the Five Strategic Thrust of the National Green Technology Policy specialized in promoting and raising awareness on the importance of the environment value.

Various activities were planned to nurture and cultivate the practice of green living, especially among the youth and the participation of volunteers from the root level are highly welcomed, to join in the effort with KeTTHA and YaHijau to ensure the success of this agenda.