The Pakatan Harapan administration has worked hard on the waste plastics tide that hit the shores of Malaysia in 2017-2018 (see Diagram 1 for our review of UN Comtrade data). But there is widening concern that a fast track plan for a dozen or more incinerators softens its waste plastics stance.
Selangor eyes two incinerators or waste-to-energy plants at Jeram and Tanjung Dua Belas to cost RM1.5 billion with a China company. It was China waste processors who rushed to Malaysia and other ASEAN countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia to offshore their activities on China's ban of waste plastic imports. If it is to be a dozen incinerators close to the indicative Selangor cost, the total could be RM9 billion.
At the one year anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan administration, Prime Minister Mahathir rated his cabinet "5 out of 10." How will Malaysians rate this new ambitious incinerator-waste strategy?