Malaysia, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation, is the world’s 37th largest economy (nominal, 2020) with a GDP of USD365 million (World Bank, 2019). The upper-middle-income country with a population of 32 million people has transformed itself since the 1970s from a mainly agricultural producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy with GDP per capital of the country at USD33.671 (2019). Malaysia desires to move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in high technology industries and biotechnology. Exports, particularly of electronics, oil and gas, palm oil and rubber, remain significant drivers of the economy. The country’s export in the recent years has been led by the electrical & electronics (E&E) sector, whilst Malaysia is one of the top exporters of natural rubber and palm oil, which together with timber and timber products, cocoa, pepper, pineapple and tobacco dominate the growth of the sector.
Malaysia’s twelfth five-year development plan, which will run from 2021 to 2025, is regarded to set the motions on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Malaysian government’s Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030. The October 2019 SPV places a commitment to achieve sustainable growth along with equitable distribution with reduced developmental imbalances across states and between urban and rural areas.
Malaysian domestic use of water was reported in 2019 with an average of 210 litre per capital daily. United Nations’ recommendation is 50 to 100 litres per capital. The country’s electrical consumption per capital was over 4,600 kilowatt per hour (2019), which is around 33% higher than other upper-middle-income countries.