Image credit: Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR: Those who make contributions to the Malaysia Sustainable Development Goals (MySDG) Trust Fund will enjoy a tax exemption of up to 10 per cent of their total annual income, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

Given the current Covid-19 pandemic and the recent floods disaster, Ismail Sabri said the government needed the support of all Malaysians, either individually or companies.

The Prime Minister pointed out the importance of protecting the environment so that development can take place in the country without having to sacrifice nature.

In this regard, he said the business sector, financial institutions and society must jointly contribute and participate in complementing the government's efforts to achieve the SDG goals by 2030.

"I hope this incentive (10 per cent tax exemption) will drive more people to contribute to this historic initiative.

"I would take this opportunity to invite all of the Malaysian Family, be it from the private sector, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations or individuals in and out of the country to contribute to the MySDG Trust Fund.

"We need to be aware of the importance of SDG as an axis in all planning and policies, especially in addressing issues of unsustainable development to the detriment of the environment.

"This should be a priority, especially to prevent the same tragedy from happening again in the future," he said in his speech when officiating the establishment of the MySDG Foundation in Putrajaya today.

Ismail Sabri warned that failure to find the balance between development and protecting the environment would lead to severe consequences such as the floods disaster that affected several states in the country in December and early this month.

"It goes beyond what can be measured financially," he said.

With the establishment of the MySDG Foundation today and the Trust Fund last year, the Prime Minister believed that these could narrow the funding gaps in achieving the country's aspirations, thus accelerating Malaysia's 2030 Agenda.

As one of the 193 nations participating in the 2030 Agenda in 2015, Malaysia had so far submitted two Voluntary National Review reports to the United Nations (UN).

At the same time, Malaysia had also developed an online database of SDG, supported by an institutional framework involving various stakeholders.

"The latest report on the SDG achievements has been tabled in August 2021 and based on the report, Malaysia has made significant progress in the development of the SDG covering various aspects.

"However, there is still room for improvement, especially for the SDG which involves environmental sustainability and the well-being of the vulnerable and the hardcore poor groups.

"We will continue to fully integrate the SDG into national planning and development mechanisms as well as policies. In fact, the SDG and national performance indicators have been fully outlined in the country's five-year development plan, starting with the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (RMK-11).

"Through the full alignment of the SDG, the government will be able to monitor all progress on the efforts made more effectively. At the same time, the mobilisation of resources to support the SDG can also be ensured."

Moving forward, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia would continue its commitment to ensuring equality in terms of socio-economic development for all of the Malaysian Family.

He said this would include addressing wealth and income gaps, as well as moving towards a united and prosperous nation.