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In: Business and Management

Submitted By huiming
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Outline of Presentation
• Introduction
• Objectives of Study
• Methodology
• Development of Marine Environment Laws

in Malaysia
• Compliance with Marine Environment Laws in Malaysia
• Conclusions

Introduction – Environmental Law
• Body of international convention, domestic statutes

or laws, state or provincial ordinances and local government bylaws that govern human activities which impact the environment.
Established to:
- avoid tragedy of the commons
- eliminate free riders in environmental protection and control of pollution
And in response to:
- the growing development of environmental ethics - the changing requirement of international law
Tool for implementing policies

Objectives of Study
• Examine marine environment laws in

Malaysia in terms of its development and its coverage;
• Assess the level of compliance with marine environment laws in Malaysia and what it means in terms of environmental management; and
• Identify means to promote compliance with environmental laws.

Research Questions
• How has marine environmental law in

Malaysia changed over the years?
• Are our laws adequate in dealing with marine environment issues?
• What is the level of compliance with our marine environment laws?
• Can the compliance level be improved?
• What are the factors which drive environmental law development in

• Identification of the legal framework

specifically the laws that are applicable and the extent of their coverage;
Historical analysis;
Review Malaysia’s involvement in international, regional and sub-regional treaties; and
Examine compliance issues.
Not a ‘laundry-list’.
Encompass ‘brown’ and ‘green’ laws.

Development of Marine
Environment Laws in Malaysia

• Early environmental protection laws in

Malaysia were established by the colonial authorities to protect productive forested areas and establish ‘game’ or wildlife reserves. • Has changed since then.
• Need to continuously adapt to changing conditions. Development of Marine Environment Laws in
Malaysia: Land-Based Pollution Laws

• Close correlation between economic focus and land-based pollution laws.
• 3 observable phases
- rubber and palm oil
- electronic and manufacturing
- development control
• Compliance level high.
• Innovative approaches used.

Pollution Control
• 3 main sources.
• Levels of regulation vary:
Industrial = High
Domestic/Municipal = Medium
Non-point (agriculture) = Low
Development control
• EIA based
• Pioneer in the region
• A few test cases
• Compliance an issue

Development of Marine Environment Laws in
Malaysia: Vessel-Based Pollution Laws

• Laws have been in force since 1974 (EQA) and
1984 (EEZ Act).
• Penalties increased in response to spate of pollution incidents in early 1990s.
• “Fine not exceeding five hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment nor exceeding five years or to both” under sections 27 and 29 of
• Fine “not exceeding one million ringgit” under
EEZ Act.

• Includes provisions for detention of vessels and posting of bonds.
• Increased penalty and strict enforcement has reduced incidents.
• Prosecution of cases however low.
Prosecution of Vessels Caught Polluting Malaysian Waters under Section 27 of the EQA, 2001 - 2003

Number of Illegal discharges Actual










Development of Marine Environment
Laws in Malaysia: Fisheries
• Legal framework since 1963, new act in 1985.
• Changes in fisheries laws corresponds to changes

in fisheries technology.
Based primarily on zonation system and control of gear. Laws targeted specifically at controlling trawlers.
Fisheries act also regulates foreign vessels.
Violation of zonation system most common problem. Pockets of violators.

Development of Marine Environment Laws in
Malaysia: Ecosystems and Species
• Regulation to establish Marine Parks in
• Fisheries Protected Area and Fisheries
Prohibited Area were also established.
• Marine Parks are ‘no-take’ zones.
• Controversies occur over development in
Marine Parks.
• 1999 amendment to Fisheries Act
• provides protection to endangered species – dugongs, whale sharks, dolphins and giant clams.

Development of Marine Environment Laws in
Malaysia: Impact of international Law

• Nine international conventions and one non-

legal instrument.
• Mixed-bag of experience.
• successful incorporation of the conventions into national laws and programmes but there are still gaps.

Status of Implementation of International Environmental
Protection Treaties in Malaysia[i]

Date of

Status of

Convention on the Protection of Wetlands of International
Importance especially for Waterfowl Habitat, 1971 (RAMSAR


Malaysia has gazetted a number of RAMSAR sites including mangroves and other wetlands

Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural
Heritage, 1972 (World Heritage Convention)


One terrestrial site has been declared a World
Heritage Area but no marine site yet.

International Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of World Flora and Fauna, 1973 (CITES Convention)


National instrument of implementation is the
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from
Ships, 1973 as amended by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL


Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Act), 1994

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)


Enabling legislation includes Exclusive
Economic Act, 1984 and the Fisheries Act,

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone
Layer, 1987 (Montreal Protocol)


Programmes to replace CFC-based substances are ongoing.

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 1989 (Basel


Enabling legislation is the Environmental Quality
Act, 1978.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
1992 (UNFCC)


Ongoing programmes.

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, 1982


Enabling instruments include the National Policy on Biological Diversity, Wildlife Protection Act and Fisheries Act.

How Has Marine Environment Laws in
Malaysia Developed



Water quality decline

2. Trawlers

Decline in catch
Resource threatened

3. Deaths of

Decline in Biodiversity

Fisheries Act


Marine Environment Laws in Malaysia:
Compliance and Enforcement Issues

• Statistically, the picture is good.
• However, statistics give only a ‘linear’ picture.
• In reality enforcement and compliance are

• Experience shows that stringent laws and strong enforcement works.
• However, perennial pockets of non-compliance remains. • Land-based pollution – non-compliance in some industrial sectors.
• Vessel-based pollution – strict enforcement works. • Fisheries – non-compliance with specific parts of the act e.g., licensing conditions, fish bombing, encroachment.

T o ta l


Figure 2. Violation of the Fisheries Act by Local Fishermen
1997 - 2005

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Violation of license condition
Unlicenced gear
Importing/Exporting of fish without permit"
Discovery of nets

Vessels operating without licence
Violation of cockle regulations
Violation of Marine Park regulations

Table 6. Number of Fish Bombing Cases Prosecuted
Under Section 26(1) of the Fisheries Act, 1985 (1995 –

Number of Cases



















Source: Department of Fisheries, Sabah. 2003.

What Influences Compliance
• Level of enforcement.
• Social.
• Behavioural.
• Cultural.
• Legitimacy of the authority.
• Economics

• Traditional enforcement has a significant role in compliance but is expensive.
• Economic gains often dictate compliance behaviour: – cost of non-compliance vs. probability of getting caught
- financial gains vs. compounds
- other inconveniences (detention)
• In fisheries management worldwide chances of getting caught is less than 1 %.

The Compliance
Decision in Fisheries




Legitimacy of

Effectiveness of


Fairness of the

Behaviour of





Market influences Type

Credibility of


Level of


External influences Value of




Personal Morals

• Development of marine environment laws in Malaysia

has been tremendous.
Marine environment laws in Malaysia has developed in response to pressures on the environment.
Compliance is complex and involve many factors.
Compliance good overall but pockets of long-term non-compliance remain.
Targeted compliance needed to address long-term problems. New laws or amendments should consider compliance as an issue.

Thank You

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