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Calls for more green building initiatives in Malaysia welcomed

The Green Building Index is the brainchild of the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and the Association for Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM). They looked at similar models in Singapore and Australia to help set up the new index.

Chairman Tan Loke Mun said the PAM would liaise with the government to see what incentives could be given to support the initiative in enhancing sustainability in the environment and reducing the nation's urban carbon footprint.

For example, Tan said, Malaysia does not currently put enough emphasis on transport emission in which energy use was high.

'For instance, 70% of Malaysians use cars and thus, we need to encourage the use of public transport to reduce energy consumption,' Tan said at a talk on Green Global Cities and an Introduction to Green Building Index Malaysia.

He said that the climate had definitely changed and action needed to be taken now for a sustainable city that was able to feed and power itself with minimal reliance. The age of automobile had ended while the age of technology was declining and the next generation would be the age of green, he added.

The Master Builders Association Malaysia is supportive of more green building initiatives. MBAM president Ng Kee Leen has suggested that the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors' Association should set up a working committee to produce a guide on green construction.

'This would provide IFAWPCA members with an advantage to move the green construction process by working together to ensure joint success in the future,' he said in a statement.

Meanwhile government moves to stimulate the country's property industry have been widely welcomed. These include lowering interest rates, banks re-scheduling payments and more loans to the construction industry.