The National Cleanliness Policy, which is to be launched in Malacca this Sunday, is set to transform Malaysia into a clean and sustainable nation through habits and lifestyles that place emphasis on good hygiene practices.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the policy would take effect next year, spanning a decade until 2030 with a review to be done midway in 2025.
The policy will focus on five clusters, along with 14 comprehensive strategies, besides outlining 87 action plans to be carried out by the federal and state governments, local authorities and the relevant agencies.
“The clusters outlined under the National Cleanliness Policy are awareness on cleanliness, the sustainability of the environment, circular economy, governance and quality and skilled human capital,” Zuraida said in a statement.
She said the policy has the objective of raising awareness on the roles of the community in national cleanliness, to improve and then maintain the cleanliness of the environment, to promote the culture of recycling waste into a source of income (waste to money) and to fortify governance and enforcement for improved effectiveness, better efficiency and integrity.
Zuraida said the objectives were also in tandem with the country’s initiative to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030.
She said the lackadaisical attitude of Malaysians who pay little attention to the importance of preserving the environment could bring about a negative impact, and this includes disorganised waste disposal, wanton littering and illegal waste dumping.
"The environment is dirty as a result of indiscriminate littering and waste disposal and this brings about problems such as foul stench and environmental pollution, including on our waterways.
"A dirty environment will also lead to vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and leptospirosis, which will only cause more problems in society,” she said.
By 2030, the policy is hoped to achieve its target of bringing about mindset and habitual changes in society in all aspects of hygiene and cleanliness involving one’s self, family, community and the environment.
In addition to these, the policy hopes to create awareness and instil a sense of responsibility at all levels of society on the importance of cleanliness, raising the standards of cleanliness, minimising environmental pollution and landfill waste and increasing promotional and publicity efforts.
The policy will also place a strong emphasis on reducing vector-borne diseases, improving the quality and skills of waste collection workers, encouraging more active participation within the community, and reducing government funding reliance on solid waste disposal.
Zuraida said the National Cleanliness Policy would involve various ministries, departments and agencies at federal, state and local authority levels.
“Besides this, it is the responsibility of everyone in society to work with the government, besides the involvement of communities, educational institutions, the private sector and non-governmental organisations in this effort towards creating a clean and sustainable nation.
“To ensure the policy’s strategies and action plans have a positive impact, and are effectively implemented, the ministry will also engage stakeholders in discussions,” she said.