Dr M: Sustainable Growth A Lofty Goal But Malaysia Still Going For ItNEW YORK, Sept 26 – Malaysia is undertaking various steps to ensure sustainable development, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The prime minister conceded that it was not easy to balance economic growth with sustainability.

“We have to keep the environment clean but as the population grows the amount of waste increases and we have to spend more money to treat it,” he said at the Sustainable Development Goal Summit Leaders Dialogue 6 entitled “The 2020-2030 Vision” at the United Nations General Assembly here.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was also committed to maintaining its forest levels at above 50 per cent.

Dr Mahathir said although land would inevitably be needed for development and forests cleared for housing, Malaysia was looking at high-rise buildings as a better option to landed property.

“Malaysia is building more high-rise buildings so that on a per square metre basis, there will be more people living and sustain themselves.”

Dr Mahathir said to reduce air pollution, the country was also working at having more hybrid and electric cars rather than petrol-driven vehicles.

“To a certain extent, we have already achieved this. But we need to do a lot more before we complete all the 17 areas that we have to focus on in order to reach the goal of our development being sustainable,” he added.

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