Many Malaysians feel Putrajaya not doing enough to address climate change, survey shows

Kenneth Tee
Climate change came in third in the list of most pressing concerns for Malaysia. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Half of those surveyed in Malaysia feel the federal government is not doing enough to address the issue of climate change despite it being a top concern for the country, a Singaporean think-tank’s study has revealed.

In the State of Southeast Asia 2020 survey by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute released yesterday, 57.7 per cent of respondents from Malaysia agreed that the government was aware of climate change threats but failed to allocate sufficient resources to address them.

The survey also revealed that at least one in five respondents agreed that the government was not giving enough attention to climate change or does not consider climate change a threat.

A total of 1,308 respondents from all ten Asean member states participated in the 2020 survey, with 222 respondents from Malaysia.

Only 14.1 per cent of the respondents agreed that the government viewed climate

change as an urgent national priority and has therefore allocated sufficient resources to address the issue.

In the same survey, climate change came in third in the list of most pressing concerns for Malaysia in the survey with 63.8 per cent respondents stating so.

The 2020 figure was up from 47.3 per cent in the previous year’s poll.

Of the 222 respondents polled, 50.9 per cent agreed that climate change is an important

issue that deserves to be monitored which suggested respondents were keenly aware of the negative impact of climate change but remain unconvinced that it has risen to the threatening level in the country.

In addition, 45.4 per cent said it was a serious and immediate threat to the well-being of the country with remaining 3.7 per cent of the respondents falling loosely into the “climate change denial” camp.

According to the think-tank, climate change was a clear and present danger to the world’s wellbeing and these sentiments were strongly echoed by the survey respondents.

“More than half (52.7 per cent) view climate change as a “serious and immediate threat to the well-being” in their respective countries,” it added.

Last December, the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change ministry said it was committed in developing strategies to address environmental and climate change issues.

The ministry has also established the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre which was launched on Oct 10, 2019.

The centre will focus on coordination of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities  involving various parties to enhance Malaysia’s readiness in adapting to climate change impacts.


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