12th Malaysia Plan Archive

  • RMK-12: Malaysia to be carbon neutral by 2050 – cleaner electricity to replace coal-fired power plants

    As part of his unveiling of the 12th Malaysia Plan (Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 or RMK-12), prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the country aims to be a carbon-neutral country by 2050. According to The Star, economic instruments such as carbon pricing and a carbon tax will be introduced to support this vision, the premier said.

    “Other details for carbon reduction measures will be announced after the strategic long-term review of the low-carbon development strategies has been finalised by the end of 2022,” he said while tabling the plan in parliament yesterday.

    Ismail Sabri also promised that the government will no longer build new coal-fired power plants, adding that a comprehensive National Energy Policy will be introduced soon to provide a “long-term strategic direction” as part of the carbon neutral commitment. “Cleaner electricity generation will be implemented through the operation of several gas power plants in Peninsular Malaysia to replace coal-fired power plants,” he said.

    The government’s timeframe to achieve net zero carbon emissions is aligned with the city of Kuala Lumpur, as well as companies like Petronas, the Employment Provident Fund (EPF) and Sarawak Energy. Petronas in particular has plans to deliver clean energy and low-carbon solutions worldwide, as stated in RMK-12.

    Several initiatives will be undertaken, such as reducing hydrocarbon flaring and venting, capturing methane emissions and optimising production and operations. Other measures include increasing the efficacy in providing low-carbon energy and solutions such as natural gas and renewable energy, developing low and zero carbon fuels, products and solutions, and investing in nature-based solutions by preserving and restoring the capacity of forest ecosystems to act as carbon sinks.

    The move towards carbon neutrality will be good news to electric vehicle owners, as more and more people shift towards EVs and rely on the national grid for their mobility needs. While studies have shown that EVs will reduce emissions even if the electricity is generated from fossil fuels, a shift towards cleaner energy sources certainly wouldn’t hurt.

    According to Tenaga National, coal was the predominant fuel for producing electricity in Peninsular Malaysia last year, making up 65.84% of the power being generated. This is followed by gas at 29.67%, hydropower at 3.78% and solar power at 0.7%.

    As for those clinging on to internal combustion engines, Petronas’ commitment to developing low and zero carbon fuels will surely interest them. This will probably tie into its Formula 1 efforts, with the national oil and gas company partnering the dominant Mercedes-AMG Petronas team. The sport will use petrol with a 10% ethanol blend (E10) next year and aims to switch over to biofuels such as synthetic fuels by 2030.

  • RMK-12: Poor road maintenance – lack of resources, corrective rather than scheduled maintenance cited

    It’s no secret that many federal roads are in dire need of upgrades and proper maintenance, but have not received the necessary care due to a lack of funding, which has limited the ability to carry out the work. The issue has been ever present, and very much deep-rooted.

    In the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12) that was presented by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday, the government acknowledged that the long-standing issue of road maintenance, whether implemented on a corrective or preventive basis, remained an issue that was unaddressed, primarily due to a lack of resources.

    That continued shortfall meant that a preference for corrective maintenance over scheduled maintenance was inevitable, aggravating the problem. The inability to perform proper maintenance and repairs has led to the degradation of roads, reducing their lifespan as well as raising maintenance costs in the long run.

    In the document, it was stated that during the 11th Malaysia Plan, federal funding allocation was only sufficient to cover 25% of the total requirement for federal road maintenance. Back in 2018, it was reported that the yearly cost for maintaining federal roads was around RM2 billion, but the works ministry only received between RM600 million and RM800 million a year.

    Both the works ministry’s officers and experts have previously stated that federal roads needed to be resurfaced every seven years, but this practice was never carried out. Requests from the ministry for a bigger budget allocation have been an annual affair, but until this happens, the situation is something motorists will have to live with.

    The plan does outline some interim solutions, stating that a preventive maintenance approach will be adopted to extend the lifespan of roads and bridges using advanced materials and innovative technology proven to be able to increase road lifespans. A number of pilot projects using these have been undertaken, and will gradually be implemented in maintaining selected roads and bridges across the country.

    Among the technologies that will be applied is an ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) to support the higher allowable axle load of commercial vehicles. The UHPC will be used mainly in replacing and upgrading aged and narrow bridges.

  • RMK-12: Palm oil-based biodiesel use to be scaled up in Malaysia – B15 and B20 soon, up to B30 by 2025

    Prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently presented the 12th Malaysia Plan, or Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 (RMK-12), which is a five-year guide for the country’s development from 2021 to 2025. In it, the government touched upon biodiesel usage and how it will be scaled up in the years to come.

    Before we continue further, here’s a recap of the current situation. At most fuel stations currently, you will have access to Euro 5 B10 biodiesel, which replaced Euro 2M diesel across Malaysia as of April 1. This blend of 10% palm methyl ester and 90% regular diesel was first introduced in 2019 and is the base type of diesel that follows the pricing of Euro 2M previously, marked by a black nozzle.

    The alternative that costs 10 sen more is Euro 5 B7 biodiesel, which has been available since 2019, and is identified by a blue nozzle at the pumps. This blend is made up of 7% palm methyl ester and 93% regular diesel, and is offered as an option at most fuel stations, with the exception of those in Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands in Pahang and Kundasang in Sabah, where it is the standard biodiesel offering at those places.

    The next step, B20 biodiesel was launched for the transportation sector in 2020, with the fuel (20% palm methyl ester and 80% regular diesel) being implemented in Langkawi and Labuan. Originally, the nationwide implementation of B20 biodiesel was supposed to happen in June 2021. However, this was later pushed forward to early 2022, although then plantation industries and commodities minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said this was more likely to happen by the end of 2022.

    Under the RMK-12 plan, the government has reconfirmed its commitment to expand the B20 biodiesel programme throughout the country in stages. By end of the plan, which is 2025, B30 biodiesel (30% palm methyl ester and 70% regular diesel) will be introduced.

    The plan didn’t include a detailed timeline of how all this will happen, but it did state that for the transportation sector, the biodiesel blend will be “continuously upgraded from B15 (15% palm methyl ester and 85% regular diesel) to B20 and eventually to B30.” The mention of a B15 biodiesel blend is new, as it was previously understood that the jump is from B10 to B20.

    Continuing on, the plan adds that the government will conduct the necessary assessments to “identify the gaps and costs required to upgrade blending depots to be B30-compliant.” The government will also engage with stakeholders to address issues of manufacturers’ acceptance of B30 biodiesel.

    The transportation sector is different from the industry sector, with the latter being where regular consumers reside. According to the RMK-12 plan, the biodiesel programme will be expanded from B7 to B10 for the industry sector to promote greater usage of cleaner fuel. Again, there are no further details as to when this will take place, but it would appear that Euro 5 B7 biodiesel will be dropped entirely, with Euro 5 B10 being the only blend consumers will get.

    The prior switch from Euro 2M to Euro 5 for all diesel sold is certainly cleaner for the environment, as the latter has a way lower sulphur content at 10 parts per million (ppm) compared to 500 ppm for Euro 2M. The lower the content of sulphur, the lower the emission of pollutants, and a cleaner fuel also helps extend engine life and improves fuel efficiency.

    As for the biodiesel content, there’s still the ongoing issue of compatibility. Vehicle manufacturers have voiced their concern about B10 biodiesel in the past, where it was claimed that the usage of higher blends beyond B7 may result in fatty-acid methyl ester mixing with motor oil, causing the oil to thin and possibly leading to sludging in the engine. Pushing the blend to B20 and even up to B30 will likely reignite these concerns.

  • RMK-12: Highway development to be reviewed – reasonable toll rates for rakyat, fair investor returns

    In the 12th Malaysia Plan, or Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 (RMK-12) as presented by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Malaysian government outlined its plans for the restructuring of the highway development model.

    According to the Plan, this restructuring is aimed at reducing the risk to the government while enabling concessionaires to carry out operations and maintenance of the highway, while enabling the generation of fair returns from toll fare collection.

    Formulated last year, the Highway Network Development Plan 2030 (HNDP 2030) was devised for the provision of “a comprehensive and systematic masterplan” for the upgrading and development of new roads, and this masterplan conceived as a reference for development on federal, state and local levels.

    LPT 2 highway

    The government will also explore options in order to ensure the viability of existing highway projects, the Plan stated. HNDP 2030 will also have provision for “a mechanism for prioritising new highways and available funding options,” it continued.

    The 12th Malaysia Plan also provided a brief progress report for ongoing highway developments in the country. For the central to east coast regions of the Peninsula, Central Spine Road (CSR) connecting Bentong, Pahang and Kuala Krai, Kelantan was at 58.2% completion as of the end of 2020, and the construction of the remaining CSR alignment is expected to be complete by 2025.

    Construction of the Kota Bharu – Kuala Krai (KBKK) highway in Kelantan is also being carried out in phases, with two out of eight sub-packages from Pasir Hor to Ketereh completed in 2019. Work progress on the KBKK was at 38% as of the end of 2020, with the remaining alignment from Ketereh to Kuala Krai expected to reach completion by 2025.

    Preliminary works on the Lebuhraya Pantai Timur 3 (LPT 3) commenced in 2020, with completion expected in the second quarter of 2022, according to RMK-12. The LPT 3 will connect Gemuruh, Terengganu to Tok Bali, Kelantan.

    For East Malaysia, work progress on the Pan Borneo Sabah Highway was at 44% at the end of 2020, and a further 281 km of the highway is expected be to complete by 2024. Meanwhile, the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway from Telok Melano to Miri was at 59.4% completion as of the end of 2020, and is expected to be ready by 2022.

    For the Greater Klang Valley, five highways are under construction; these are the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (SUKE), Damansara-Shah Alam Elevated Expressway (DASH), East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE), Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway (SPE) and Putrajaya-KLIA Expressway (MEX 2). All are scheduled for completion Q4 2021. Meanwhile, the West Coast Expressway (WCE) from Banting, Selangor to Taiping, Perak is expected to reach completion by 2024.

  • RMK-12: Training on energy-efficient driving to be mandatory for obtaining driving licence in Malaysia

    More news from the 12th Malaysia Plan (Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 or RMK-12), which was revealed today by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. The government has said that it will enforce an “energy-efficient driving programme”, making it mandatory for all driving licence classes in the country.

    Frustratingly, the plan did not provide any specifics, but we can presume that it will involve a lot of coasting, light throttle applications and shifting to as high a gear as possible. Such a proposal has been bandied about in many countries and has even been implemented in places like Austria, in which a driver’s ability to “drive in an environmentally conscious manner” is assessed as part of its driving test.

    Implementing an eco-driving programme in its driving test criteria would certainly put Malaysia as one of the leaders in this regard, although there are some factors that need to be considered beforehand. For one thing, there are aspects of fuel saving that are diametrically opposed to safe driving, such as driving slower than the normal flow of traffic, which could increase the risk of a collision.

    Then again, driving in a fuel-efficient manner will also teach learners to better anticipate the movements of other road users, which could make them more aware on the road and thus, safer. Over to you now – do you think prospective drivers should learn to drive in a manner that maximises the distance between the pumps, or do you think there are other priorities to consider? Sound off in the comments after the jump.

  • RMK-12: Vehicle end of life policy for Malaysia to be studied for green reasons – no more old cars soon?

    Prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today presented the 12th Malaysia Plan, or Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 (RMK-12), a five-year guide for the country’s development. In Chapter 8 of the document titled Advancing Green Growth for Sustainability and Resilience, the government outlines its plans for Enhancing Green Mobility.

    A low-carbon mobility blueprint will be introduced to guide the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of green mobility initiatives. The blueprint will outline strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as well as accelerate the shift to green mobility, particularly low-carbon public transport and active mobility, which includes walking and cycling.

    “A study to identify mechanisms in phasing out old vehicles in a sustainable manner will also be undertaken,” the RMK-12 states. Now, this isn’t a new topic, far from it. The government has long toyed with the idea of a vehicle end-of-life (ELV) policy, which limits the lifespan of vehicles. Think Singapore and its vehicle scrapping policy. Looks like this is still very much on the agenda.

    The RMK-12 is a broad plan and there’s no time and space for details, but in March, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), in conjunction with the ASEAN New Car Assessment Programme (ASEAN NCAP), opened a three-page ELV survey to the Malaysian public.

    The youngest car pictured here is the Mazda at 18 years old – naturally, car enthusiasts are against ELV

    The survey was meant to gauge opinion on the matter of vehicle scrapping; should there be an age limit on vehicles, and if so, how old should they be allowed to run before being scrapped – 10 years, 40 years, or not at all? It suggested methods for the implementation of the vehicle ELV policy in Malaysia, which includes incentivising owners of old vehicles to scrap them, and offering rebates for the purchase of new vehicles in return.

    The vehicle ELV idea usually goes hand-in-hand with periodic roadworthiness inspections, much like the UK’s MOT checks and semi-annual Puspakom inspection for commercial vehicles in Malaysia – the survey touched on this as well. Another suggestion was to increase insurance premiums for vehicles over 10 years of age. See the MIROS vehicle ELV survey in full here.

    Generally, and this is in our words, carmakers would be for ELV (people will have to buy new cars to replace old ones) while the rakyat would be against the idea, wanting the freedom of choice of if and when to replace their cars. If there was no resistance, the government would just press ahead with ELV, but each time the topic is raised, there’s bound to be uproar. The ruling coalition would have to be strong enough to risk an unpopular move like this, even if it has merits. What do you think?

  • RMK-12 plans to shift Malaysians from cars to public transport – less parking, higher charges in city centres

    The government is aiming to encourage a behavioural shift from private vehicles to public transport as part of its development structure for the country under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12). Presently, the public transport modal share remains low (it was just 21% in 2018), with the general choice of mobility still very much centred around cars.

    A number of reasons define why this remains so – with inadequate connectivity, lack of accessibility and patchy reliability of services, it’s no surprise to see people continuing to rely on private vehicles for their daily transport needs. Nowhere is this more telling than in the Klang Valley, despite the reach provided by the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT)) networks.

    In this urban environment, the key to success (or traction) lies with seamless, accessible first- and last-mile connectivity, something that has been lacking. The government realises this, and says that continuous efforts will be carried out to improve these aspects in a bid to increase the ridership of public transport services.

    To minimise waiting and travelling time, the frequency of feeder buses will be increased and the routes will be realigned, while e-hailing services will be integrated with the MRT/LRT network and other transport services.

    Efforts to encourage the usage of alternative transportation for first- and last-mile connectivity will also be undertaken. The plan is to increase usage of micro-mobility vehicles and enhance pedestrian lanes in urban areas to encourage active mobility, and the infrastructure at primary public transportation nodes will also be upgraded to facilitate the integration of micro-mobility vehicles.

    All good and fine when it comes, but reliance on the trusted is a hard thing to break, and so, to steer people towards looking at public transport as the primary choice, the 12th Plan also outlines the plan of introducing loading on private vehicles to prompt the shift away from their use, especially into city centre areas.

    The plan mentions that collaboration between relevant authorities will be enhanced in ensuring effective enforcement of private vehicles entering city centres. How this will be managed was not detailed, but the possibility of a road pricing scheme (similar to the ERP in Singapore) cannot be discounted.

    Also, measures such as limiting parking spaces and imposing higher parking charges in areas with good public transport connectivity will also be implemented in a bid to manage the inflow of private vehicles into city centres. As an additional carrot, unlimited passes for train and bus passengers will be extended to further encourage ridership.

    In the intra-urban context, dynamic fares will be expanded for ETS services to encourage the usage of inter-city rail transport, where fares will be determined by market demand. Higher fares will be charged for last-minute purchases compared to planned journeys.

    For rural areas, the RMK-12 outline suggests innovative and non-traditional public transport options will be considered. An alternative community-based public transport system that offers affordable services will be introduced, with one of the options being considered a ‘dial-a-ride system’, where a phone call-based system provides door-to-door service for people who do not have access to conventional public transport amenities.

    The government says that it is also looking at addressing the lack of holistic travel demand management by getting everyone to “talk” to each other. How it plans to do so is by integrating different modes of transport under one coordinating platform. This will coordinate and optimise schedules, effectively minimising the waiting time between different modes.

    The platform, which will incorporate the sharing of real time data among public transport operators to ensure efficiency, will also develop an integrated and reliable journey planner.

  • RMK-12: Incentives for EVs in Malaysia to be reviewed – to promote local production and customer purchase

    The 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12) announced by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for 2021 until 2025 has stated details on the Malaysian government’s direction for the next five-year period, including initiatives for the enhancement of green mobility initiatives.

    Usage of green vehicles, which operate with reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as well as with improved energy efficiency, will be promoted by the government in order to drive user transition to green mobility. To this end, the government will review the incentives provided to manufacturers based in the country for the production of these vehicles, as well as their purchase by customers.

    In May this year, Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari said that the Malaysian government will look into further customised incentives for manufacturers based on their level of commitment, on top of fixed incentives that will benefit both end users and the industry.

    For car buyers, the range of proposed benefits are to include zero-rated import and excise duties and sales tax for electric vehicles, as well as zero road tax for limited run of CBU (fully imported) vehicles.

    The voluntary MARii EEV labelling scheme was first applied to the 2020 Proton X70 CKD

    The private sector will also be encouraged to invest in driving the advancement of next-generation vehicles, technologies and supporting infrastructure, such as energy-efficient vehicles, hydrogen and battery-electric vehicles as well as charging stations, according to the document.

    Additionally, the private sector will also be encouraged to adopt the practice of green labelling for next-generation vehicles and technologies, the document wrote for the 12th Malaysia Plan.

    Taken as read, this would be a version of the labelling that currently exists in the form of the MARii EEV label that was first sighted on the 2020 Proton X70 CKD. This included a QR code that leads to a list of the car’s key specifications, including model designation, fuel consumption CO3 emissions and top speed.

    The labelling scheme itself was first introduced in March 2018 at the launch of the National Emissions Test Centre (NETC), in line with Malaysia’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 as outlined under the Paris Agreement.

  • RMK-12: Pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to be improved to promote active mobility in Malaysia

    As part of the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12), there will be a focus on active mobility with a focus on pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. The emphasis will be on user-friendly, connected infrastructure that is safe and comfortable.

    Measures to be implemented include traffic calming measures and natural shading for pedestrian walkways. This is part of the plan to enhance green mobility as an integral part of city and township development including low-carbon mobility.

    A low-carbon mobility blueprint will be introduced to guide the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of green mobility initiatives in both urban and rural areas. Additionally, accessibility, connectivity, safety and reliability of public transport will be further improved, along with seamless micro-mobility services for first and last-mile connections.

  • RMK-12: Public transport use low due to cheap cars, reg vehicles up from 20 to 30 mil between 2010-2018

    Prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has just announced the 12th Malaysia Plan (Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 or RMK-12), a five-year guide for the country’s development. In it, the government has both reviewed the nation’s performance in line with the 11th plan and proposed several measures to address the biggest issues, including in the area of transportation.

    Here, we’re focusing on Malaysia’s public transportation, which has seen sweeping development over the past five years, such as the introduction of the first Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line (Kajang Line) and the extension of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang/Sri Petaling Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines. Despite this, Malaysia failed to reach the 40% public transport modal share target last year; it was last recorded at just 21% in 2018.

    The government listed a number of reason for this – inadequate connectivity, lack of accessibility and reliability of services, the reluctance of the public to switch from private vehicles and, of course, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Poor first- and last-mile connectivity between different modes of transport is said to be a particular pain point, hampering seamless travel.

    The local public transport system is also said to suffer from low On Time Performance (OTP), long journey times and lack of holistic travel demand management, affecting its efficiency and reliability. All this has contributed to an underutilisation of public transport, below the government’s target.

    Another huge contributor was Malaysia’s relatively low cost of car ownership, which has made the public reluctant to switch from private vehicles to public transport – likely exacerbated by the pandemic. The number of registered vehicles has shot up by around six per cent per annum, rising from 20.2 million in 2010 to 30 million vehicles in 2018. The ratio of vehicles to population stood at 0.9 in 2018, making Malaysia one of the highest in the region in this regard. So much for our “high car prices”, eh?

    It’s not all bad news, however. The government trumpeted the success of KTM’s Electric Train Service (ETS), which was introduced in 2010 and stretches from Gemas in Negeri Sembilan and Padang Besar in Perlis. Daily ridership doubled from 5,500 in 2015 to 11,000 just two years later and was targeted to hit 12,000 by December 2020 with up to 44 trips a day.

    To help with this, KTM added nine new train sets equipped with business class coaches in 2019 and will extend the services up to Johor Bahru once the Gemas-Johor Bahru Double Track project is completed in 2023. This will effectively link up the north and south of Peninsular Malaysia along the west coast, improving connectivity and providing a more comfortable journey for long-distance rail passengers.

    Low public transport utilisation is a serious problem, which is why RMK-12 also includes a number of initiatives to fix this by providing affordable, reliable and seamless mobility in the near future. The government wants to provide a more accessible and integrated transport system and reduce the nation’s dependence on private vehicles. The latter will include measures such as limiting parking spaces and imposing higher parking charges in city centres.


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Last Updated 14 Oct 2021