Categorized as Country Information, News from Asia & Australasia

IURC Asia & Australasia Partner Country: Malaysia

Country Description

Malaysia has 32.73 million inhabitants (Department of Statistics, Q4, 2020) and surface of about 330,000 km² (a bit smaller than Germany). As a federation, it is divided between the federal and the state governments. It consists of 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia, 2 states on the island of Borneo and 3 federal territories (including the capital Kuala Lumpur). A multi-ethnic country with the principal ethnic groups of Malay, Chinese and Indian, Malaysia practises a system of parliamentary democracy with constitutional monarchy.

Malaysia reflects the progress of South-East Asia as a whole, having evolved from a developing country to a regional and international hub. The Malaysian government has, however, realised that the country is caught in what is known as the middle-income trap. In its efforts to escape the trap, the government is pinning its hopes on economic development with a strong environmental focus.

Previous EU-Malaysia City Cooperation

Malaysia’s participation in the IUC Asia programme involved ten cities in total, namely Kuala Lumpur, Iskandar, Petaling Jaya, Melaka, Penampang, Tawau, Hang Tuah Jaya, Putrajaya, Seberang Perai and George Town. Circular economy was one of the key themes of the cooperation, resulting in the development of a Blueprint for Malaysian cities to shape their transition towards circular economy. Three online consultations took place in the second half of 2020.

The IUC programme also supported local climate action, providing Malaysian cities with training on climate adaptation, mitigation of CO2 emissions, and financing and mitigation of climate actions.