Wednesday, December 15, 2010








Assalamualaikum W.B.T, Good Morning and Salam 1Malaysia.

Mr Geoffrey Briscoe,

Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia;

Hi Excellency Dr. Michael Feiner,

Deputy Head of Mission from the German Embassy;

Mr. Simon Rock, Managing Director,

Sime Darby Motor Division;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

1. Firstly, I would like to thank BMW Group Malaysia for inviting me here today to officiate the launch of the new locally assembled BMW X1 Sports Activity Vehicle.

2. On the 24th of July, 2009 the Malaysian Government launched the National Green Technology Policy with the aim of enhancing the nation’s environmental sustainability and by reducing the country’s carbon footprint through four primary pillars – energy, environment, economy and social awareness. One of the key objectives outlined by this policy is “to ensure sustainable development and conserving the environment for future generations”.

3. With this policy, the Government has placed a great amount of emphasis on the introduction and development of environmentally friendly products and services which comply with the green technology standards, set by the Government, and which are currently being utilised in most of the governments’ procurement processes today.

4. Since then, the Malaysian Government has continued to present strong measures to encourage the development, growth and adoption of Green Technology in Malaysia, both as a strategic effort to improve and enhance the quality of our infrastructure and industry, and to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of our citizens well into the 21st Century.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

5. At the UN Climate Change conference in December 2009, it was decided by the worlds’ leaders that more needed to be done to ensure sustainable growth.

6. One year on and I am pleased to report that the Malaysian Government has taken significant steps towards achieving that objective. We have set in motion a plan to reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the country by 40% by the year 2020. We have strengthened policies and actions towards combating climate change, sought to introduce cleaner, safer and friendlier technologies, and are assessing and reassessing any and all appropriate measures that are possible to optimize efficiency and sustainability while minimizing unhealthy and environmentally damaging emissions and practices.

7. With an emphasis on four key strategies, reinvigorating private investment, intensifying human capital development, enhancing quality of life for the Rakyat and to strengthen public service delivery, the Malaysian Budget for 2011 has also made the adoption and development of Green Technology a key emphasis.

8. Amongst the many new initiatives, the Government has introduced several key initiatives such as the extension of Pioneer Status and Investment Tax Allowances for the generation of energy from renewable sources and energy efficiency activities to 31 December 2015, the exemption of import duty and sales tax on equipment for the generation of energy from renewable and or efficient sources until 31 December 2012, the exemption of tax on income derived from trading of Certified Emission Reductions certificates until the assessment year of 2012, and the introduction of full import and excise duty to franchise holders of hybrid cars as well as hybrid electric motorcycles to 31 December 2011.

9. In addition to that the Malaysian Government has also introduced five new manufacturers’ licenses to encourage greater investment into the car industry by foreign producers and also aid in developing more competitive automotive industry, both of which are likely to lead to significant benefits to the Malaysian consumer.

10. The first of these manufacturing licenses has already been issued, and as we move towards 2011 we are confident that even more foreign investors will appreciate the value of setting up additional investments here in Malaysia.

11. When taken in combination with the Government’s emphasis on encouraging the development and adoption of Green Technology, the issue of new manufacturer’s licences also creates a unique opportunity to develop the country as a regional hub for Advanced and Environmentally Friendly Automotive Technology, a possibility which we in the government are keen to consider as it would encourage the use of Clean and Green Technology alternatives such as Advanced Diesel Technology and Hybrid Technology domestically, while also spurring greater economic opportunities for the country throughout Asean and beyond!

12. Let’s not forget that measures to full liberalisation of the ASEAN automotive market commences as at the 1st of January 2010 which is nothing short of a forced impetus for Malaysia to move towards a regional automotive hub, focusing on niche areas. By virtue of this arrangement (ASEAN CEPT), import duty for all automotive parts/components has been eliminated.

Honorable Guests,

13. Despite the failure of the recently concluded Cancun climate change conference to set a firm path at the end of 2012 post-Kyoto Protocol the fight for carbon emission reduction and indeed figuratively speaking the future of our planet seems bleak. However, the tragedy of natural disasters coupled with the loss of flora and fauna are a clear and present danger. Environmental consciousness is part of our psyche. Malaysians in particular are becoming increasingly aware of this fact and demand that their Government act on this. And so, I am enthused to see such a prestigious multinational corporation such as BMW taking proactive measures towards introducing and improving the level of sustainable technologies here in Malaysia. These efforts by BMW will not only contribute significantly to the preservation of our resources and the environment, but will encourage further awareness and development of sustainable technologies in Malaysia and by Malaysians.

14. The positive impact which BMW has had towards the environment, and towards the growth of a sustainable automotive industry, through its BMW EfficientDynamics strategy is a sterling example of what can be accomplished by non-government entities that display high levels of innovation and initiative, as well as a genuine concern for the societies which they serve, and for this I would like to both express my admiration and applaud BMW for its bold efforts.

15. I hope that more companies, institutions as well as individuals will follow in BMW’s path and to take proactive action to further encourage the growth and introduction of sustainable green technologies and alternatives, in Malaysia.

16. The joke’s on us for someone said that, “There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all”.

17. Just before I take my leave allow me to wish His Excellency Dr. Michael Feiner and his delegation a pleasant stay here in Malaysia. Enjoy the tropical climate and the delectable food.

18. Once again, I would like to thank BMW Group Malaysia for this kind invitation and now without further ado announce the official launch of the new locally assembled BMW X1 in Malaysia. Congratulations!

Thank you.

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