by Sharan Raj
During the political crisis last month, an important report was published by Greenpeace on Malaysia’s air pollution. The study revealed that air pollution causes economic loss of up to RM28 billion per year with 10,000 premature deaths.
The air pollution was largely caused by the burning of fossil fuel. The air pollution in cities comes from burning petrol and diesel in vehicles. Developing a comprehensive public transport plan may take time to scale up.
The fastest way to make some progress is to increase fuel quality sold at the pump. Malaysia practices the European fuel standard which outlines the sulphur content and lead content. The higher the fuel quality, the lower the pollution from exhaust.
Currently, Malaysia has achieved Euro 4M for both RON95 and RON97 petrol. The deadline to transition to Euro 5M petrol is 1st September 2025. The deadline to phase our Euro 2M for Euro 5M diesel is 1st September 2020.
Malaysia should focus on adopting Euro 6 fuel quality for both petrol and diesel by 1st September 2021. India jumped straight from BS-IV (Euro 4) to BS-VI (Euro 6) as means to reduce air pollution.
The people have for far too long subsidised the profit of oil corporations with our health. Hence, there is no reason government for the government to be lenient with them in terms of fuel quality.