The federal government has allocated RM1.7 billion in the third rolling plan under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to develop sustainable infrastructure through the implementation of sewerage projects throughout the country.
Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said it was part of the ongoing efforts to modernise the sewerage infrastructure and provide efficient and quality sewerage services to all Malaysians.
He said, as of now, Malaysia has achieved 85.4% of sewerage services in the major cities and aims to reach 90% for sewerage coverage by the end of the 12MP in 2025.
"Modernisation of the country's sewerage sector involves the process of upgrading ineffective and not cost-effective as well as closing down small-sized sewage treatment plants as population and economic activities grow.
"Such initiative is also important to ensure effluent discharged is complied with the stricter environmental regulations, especially on water resources pollution," he said in his opening speech at Trenchless Asia 2023 in Kuala Lumpur today.
The text of the speech was read out by the director-general of the sewerage services department Wan Abd Rahim Wan Abdullah.
Nik Nazmi said the ministry has taken the concept of regionalisation when it comes to the development of sewerage infrastructure in high-density urban areas which promotes the building of sewage treatment plants with an appropriate scale to meet the needs of a larger community.
Meanwhile, Nik Nazmi said the potential of the sewerage sector in Malaysia has not been fully tapped.
"The three by-products of the sewage treatment plant such as bio-solid, bio-effluent and bio-gas, all have the economic potential for commercialisation.
"Take bio-effluent for example, the government has laid a specific agenda to utilise treated effluent for a specific purpose.
“Through this initiative, the government is targeting to produce 1,500 MLD (million litres per day) reclaimed water by 2030, mostly to be used for non-potable applications and as an alternative water source for specific industries," he added.