Reforms: New Law

The New Environmental Act

Heftier fines and greater enforcement power

Last updated: May 19, 2019

All information has not been verified by the relevant Ministry/Agency

What are the issues?  

  • Toxic waste dumping of Sungai Kim Kimpeak sent over 4,000 people to hospitals in Pasir Gudang.

  • Illegal imported plastic waste.  


What is being done 

The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) is:-  

  1. drafting the new legislation to replace the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

  2. setting up a trust fund to reward whistleblowers and improve enforcement.

  3. seeking public feedback on the new act.

What is the New Environmental Act about?  


Stiffer penalties of up to RM5million. 

  • Heftier lump-sum fines for offences across the board. 

  • Additional fines on a daily basis.


Mandatory licencing requirement for:-

  • factories, vehicles and shipping vessels involved in the storage and recycling of scheduled waste. 

  • factories that release effluents, sewage and air pollution above the permitted limits.

  • Licences are non-transferable.

  • Hefty fine for non-compliance - fine up to RM250,000, five years’ jail term or both – in addition to a RM1,000 fine for each day of non-compliance.


More power for enforcement

The Department of Environment director-general is permitted to:-  

  • request premise owners or occupiers to conduct an environmental audit. 

  • use firearms and arrest without a warrant.

  • claim for the clean-up costs from those responsible for the pollution.

  • issue a “stop work” order to any premises owner for conducting activities that threaten the environment or public health and security, frequently flouting the law and the illegal dumping of scheduled waste.


The public feedback is ongoing. It will end on June 4 and can be accessed on the DoE’s website at

News Snippets

New Malaysia | Facts and Stats May 22, 2019 @ 01:00

Malaysia, flooded with plastic waste, to send back some scrap to source

Malaysia, which has become the dumping ground for the world’s plastic waste, will send back non-recyclable plastic scrap to the developed countries that sent it there, its environment minister said today.|Read more >|Malaymail

New Malaysia | Reforms: Environment May 19, 2019 @ 07:00

Getting tough on polluters
Stiffer penalties of up to a RM5mil fine will be imposed for environmental offences under a new Act that is currently being drafted.|Read more >|TheStar

New Malaysia | Reforms: Environment May 19, 2019 @ 07:00

Trust fund can be used to pay off informers
A trust fund – the Kumpulan Wang Alam Sekitar – will be set up under Section 70 of the proposed new environment law that can be used, among others, to pay off informers of environment crime.|Read more >|TheStar

New Malaysia | Reforms: Environment May 19, 2019 @ 07:00

Groups: Manage and use fund wisely
Setting up a trust fund where contributions can be used towards better protection of the environment is a good move, say environmentalists. However, it must have a comprehensive structure and guidelines to prevent misuse.|Read more >|TheStar

New Malaysia | Govt: MESTECC May 18, 2019 @ 07:00

Yeo: Amendment will help track plastic waste trade

The recent amendment to the classification of plastic waste under the Basel Convention, an international treaty, will help Malaysia restrict the import of such wastes from other countries more effectively, says Yeo Bee Yin.|Read more >|TheStar


Ministry: Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC)
Mailing address: 
Level 1-7, Block C4 & C5, Complex C, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62662 Putrajaya.

Tel MyGCC: (603)  8000 8000
Fax: (603)  8888 9070


Agency: Department of Environment Malaysia (DOE)
Mailing address: 
Tel MyGCC: (603)  8000 8000



Location: Malaysia

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