Kedah to champion green agenda

Kedah Menteri Besar Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Hj Mukhriz Tun Mahathir unveiled the Kedah Green Agenda during the Langkawi International Smart Green Cities Forum held at Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa recently, witnessed by the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Y.B. Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili and Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Y.B. Datuk Ir. Hj. Hamim Samuri.

Developed in partnership with Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia), the Kedah Green Agenda is in line with the 11th Malaysia Plan’s Strategic Thrust 4 – Pursuing Green Growth for Sustainability and Resilience, as well as Kedah Strategic Plan 2014-2018, both of which are aimed at boosting socio-economic growth.

The Kedah Green Agenda comprises 14 action plans that aim to strategically position Kedah as a model green state. The wide-ranging plans include strategies and initiatives on Human Capital Development, developing a Centre of Excellence for Solar Technology, enhancing Sustainable Energy Management, installing LEDs in State Government Buildings, encouraging the adoption of Government Green Procurement, deploying Green Data Centres and Green Data Recovery Centres, an LED Street Light Retrofitting Programme, incorporating Solar Rooftop for Rakyat’s Housing, expanding Solar Power Plants, the adoption of a Government Electric Vehicle (EV) Fleet, increasing EV Infrastructure, promoting Sustainable Waste Management, expanding the Rice Husk Ecosystem, and the implementation of Low Carbon Cities in Kedah.

Speaking on the initiative, Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Hj Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said, “The seeds of Kedah’s green transformation have already been planted with Kedah emerging as one of the major solar photovoltaic manufacturers in the world. With the growing emphasis on going green, the time is ripe to catapult Kedah into its next phase of growth, by positioning Kedah as a model Malaysian state that has successfully brought about the convergence of societal well-being, economic progress and environmental sustainability.”

“Towards this end, we will be working closely with GreenTech Malaysia, whose vast knowledge and expertise in the field of green technology will be crucial to the successful implementation of the Kedah Green Agenda,” he added.

Kedah is already well-regarded as a leader in state-level green technology initiatives, with the world’s largest thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturer, First Solar Inc. establishing a regional manufacturing hub at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park.

In the tourism sector, the Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa has won the coveted ASEAN Green Award 2012/2014, while the Langkawi Cable Car, Malaysia’s longest free span mono-cable car has operated on a PV diesel hybrid power system with a capacity of 40-60kWh per day since 2008. The state also boasts Malaysia’s first Green Building Index-certified hospital, the Amanjaya Specialist Centre located in Sungai Petani.

Building upon their established green efforts, the introduction of the Kedah Green Agenda is the natural next step to further strengthen the state’s commitment to Malaysia’s green agenda and to delivering high impact socio-economic results.

Y.B. Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili commented, “It is encouraging to note that the Kedah State Government has taken the initiative to embrace green technology and the green growth agenda at the state and grassroots level. This is a follow through of the National Green Technology Policy and Green Technology Masterplan that were formulated by KeTTHA to further propel the application and development of green technology.”

“The cooperation between the Kedah State Government and GreenTech Malaysia to develop the Kedah Green Agenda is timely as the Prime Minister aspires for Langkawi to be the first low carbon island by 2030. We hope this initiative by Kedah will be emulated by other states to ensure green technology and green approaches power the country’s economy,” he added.

As the lead agency developing and promoting green technology as Malaysia’s strategic engine for socio-economic growth, GreenTech Malaysia has played a key role in outlining the framework of the Kedah Green Agenda in consultation with the Kedah State Government.

Commenting on the collaboration, GreenTech Malaysia’s Chief Executive Officer, Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris said, “We are very encouraged by the Kedah State Government’s commitment to become a role model for green practices as demonstrated by the introduction of the Kedah Green Agenda. This is a fine example of how State and Federal Governments can come together, working in tandem with a Government agency such as GreenTech Malaysia, to holistically deliver on Malaysia’s green agenda, achieve the nation’s COP15 pledge and ultimately realise our vision of becoming a world hub for green technology by 2020.”

Following today’s launch, the Kedah State Government will work together with GreenTech Malaysia and various stakeholders to roll out the implementation of the 14 action plans.

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