KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has all the right foundation for the successful implementation of the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
In a statement issued after paying a courtesy visit to UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed at the UN Headquarters in New York earlier today, the minister said he was very grateful that the SDG is very much integrated with Malaysia’s 11th Economic Plan (RMK-11).
Abdul Rahman also said that since independence, the country’s forefathers had made a crucial decision to invest in education, which is one of the 17 SDGs, as a driver to move forward as a country.
“Although other countries might have different priorities, Malaysia has always emphasised on education. We spent about 21 per cent of our federal budget on education, which is also one of the highest in the world,” he said.
The minister is currently in New York attending UN’s Voluntary National Review on the 2030 Agenda – Sustainable Development Goals and the General Debate of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017, held from July 15 to 21.
The 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit, are built on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty.
Abdul Rahman also told the UN Deputy Secretary General during the 30-minute discussion that Malaysia had already taken steps to diversify its economy, which previously was heavily dependent on oil and gas revenue.
“When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over in 2009, about 41 per cent of our federal budget revenue came from oil and gas, but today it has been reduced to 14 per cent.
“It is mainly because the Prime Minister identified the need to diversify our economy as we gradually diversified into a more service-orientated industry which includes automation and education,” he said.
Abdul Rahman also raised a major concern of Malaysia relating to the recently passed European Union’s (EU) resolution on the sustainability in the production of palm oil, stating that they would impose penalties and reduce imports from Malaysia.
“I believe in these circumstances we will continue to engage with the EU and the UN because palm oil is sustainable and with the recent action, it will affect the people of Malaysia especially those from the more rural areas,” he said.
A resolution by the European Parliament recently called for the EU to phase out by 2020 the use of vegetable oils in biodiesel, including palm oil, that are allegedly produced in an unsustainable way leading to deforestation. – BERNAMA