MALAYSIA: Towards Lead-Free Paint by Year 2020

Category: News Published: Thursday, 23 November 2017 Written by Administrator
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Seventeen esteemed industry players sign pledge with MPMA

(L-R): Mr. Indra Laban (executive committee, MPMA), Mr. Yaw Seng Heng (honourary treasurer, MPMA), Pn. Julina Zainal Abidin West (chairman, MPMA) & Mr. Shalinder Dhillon (executive committee, MPMA) during the press conference of “MPMA Green Forum: Towards Lead-Free Paints: The Malaysian Context”

Petaling Jaya, 21 November 2017 –  The Malaysian Paint Manufacturers’ Association (“MPMA”) which represents the collective voices of the paint manufacturing industry in Malaysia spearheaded the signing of a commitment pledge by 17 industry players to remove the use of lead based ingredients in the manufacturing of paints by 2020. The pledge is an initiative in line with the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (GAELP) movement, aimed at creating a mindset change towards the implementation of lead-free paint.

17 paint manufacturers holding aloft their pledge documents after the official pledge signing ceremony

Present to officiate the “MPMA Green Forum: Towards Lead-Free Paints – The Malaysian Context” forum, Deputy Minister YB Dato’ Henry Sum Agong, Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism (MDTCC) said in his keynote address, “Lead in paint is a great concern especially in a rapidly developing nation. It has indeed been a positive progress for the paint industry over the years in which paint is no longer seen as a decorative tool for surfaces, but rather a key tool to provide a safer environment for the population. Hence, it is timely that we focus on the issues of lead in paint for our health and the environment.”

Representatives of paint manufacturers signing the pledge as witnessed by YB Dato’ Henry Sum Agong, Deputy Minister  of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism (MDTCC) as well as Pn. Julina binti Zainal Abidin West, Chairman of the Malaysian Paint Manufacturers Association (MPMA)

The World Health Organization recognises the implications of prolonged lead paint exposure towards health and the environment. GAELP, an initiative initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2011 saw the urgent need to raise awareness amongst government authorities and the general public on the toxicity of lead in paint and its harmful effect on health and livelihood. Currently, 59 governments worldwide have reported their commitment towards legally binding restrictions on the use of lead in paint, whilst 65 countries are yet to have legally-binding restrictions. 18 countries out of the 65 countries have undertaken necessary steps for the development of legislations.

YB Dato’ Henry Sum Agong, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism (MDTCC) delivering his official keynote address during MPMA Green Forum prior to the pledge-signing ceremony

The remainder of approximately 71 countries have been identified as lacking comprehension on the importance of lead-free paint and adequate information to move forward in this aspect. In Malaysia, the current legislation allows a maximum of 90 ppm in the migration of lead in paint used in toys for children below 14 years old. MPMA continues to play a fundamental role as the bridge between the industry and government legislations, taking on an advocative role towards raising awareness amongst key industry players on the negative impact of lead in paint.

Chairman of the Malaysian Paint Manufacturers Association (MPMA), Pn. Julina binti Zainal Abidin West delivering her maiden speech at the MPMA Green Forum – “Malaysia: Towards Lead-Free Paint by 2020”

“Lead-free paint in Malaysia is not an impossible goal to achieve as more and more awareness have successfully knocked on the right doors amongst industry players. The Green Forum today is one of MPMA’s many initiatives in the pipeline to actively change the mindset of Malaysian industry players to spearhead the efforts towards total lead-free paint legislation by year 2020. Today, we are proud to have over 17 companies with us to collectively pledge towards the removal of lead in decorative paints by year 2018, and in all paint categories by 2020. This is a stepping stone to bigger change in the years to come,” said Pn Julina bte Zainal Abidin West, Chairman of the Malaysian Paint Manufacturers’ Association in her opening speech.

Paint manufacturers who are exco members on the board of Malaysian Paint Manufacturers Association

Lead has been found to be a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems with an undetermined safe level of exposure. Yet, it has been a long-standing feature in the paints used to decorate the interiors and exteriors of buildings, toys, furniture and playground equipment that are detrimental to human and environmental health.

Health: Lead can affect areas related to the brain and nervous system, kidney function, blood condition and reproductive damage. Children below 6 years old and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. In time, as lead paint ages and decays, it releases lead-containing dust and flakes that contaminate the environment. Lead in this form is easily ingested by young children.

Environmental: Lead can bio-accumulate in most organisms such plants, animals and micro-organisms with exposures occurring via multiple sources and pathway.

Closest to home, the Philippines is Southeast Asia’s first country to have successfully implemented legislations towards lead-safe paint. In the panel discussion entitled, “Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Lead-Free Paint: Should it be Regulated?” saw expert panellists discussing the importance, challenge and implications faced in countries that are working towards effective regulations be it for the benefit of industry players and consumers alike. The forum was attended by over 100 individuals from the industry, consumer association and the government. “As the association for paints and paints related industries in Malaysia, MPMA is the bridge between the industry and the government. It makes sure that members adhere to the country’s legislation as well as spearhead the industry to evolve according to global standards. However, it is through these pledges from our fellow industry associates of various capacities that we are certain would move Malaysia towards the development of legislations for a brighter, safer future,” added Pn Julina.

To date, the following companies have pledged towards lead-free paint by 2020:

Akzo Nobel Paints (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
Becker Industrial Coatings (M) Sdn Bhd
Boustead Sissons Paints Sdn Bhd
Chugoku Paints (M) Sdn Bhd
Dolphin Paint (MFG) Sdn Bhd
Federal Paints Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd
Jotun Paints (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
Kansai Paint Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd
Kansai PLC Sdn Bhd
KCC Paints Sdn Bhd
Kossan Paint (M) Sdn Bhd
MCI Paint Sdn Bhd
Nippon Paint (M) Sdn Bhd
Sancora Paints Industries
Seamaster Paint (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
Sime Kansai Paint Sdn Bhd
Suzukacoat (M) Sdn Bhd

Key stakeholders who are interested to participate in this pledge or to become a member of the MPMA, kindly visit MPMA’s website at:


The Malaysian Paint Manufacturers’ Association (MPMA) is a non-profit organisation representing the spectrum of interests related to the paint manufacturing industry in Malaysia. Established in 1966, members of the Association are made up of paint manufacturers, associated suppliers and supporting organisations, working together to implement better practices in the industry for the sake of health, safety and environmental reasons. MPMA bridges the gap between regulatory bodies and manufacturers in the creating and passing of legislation that will improve the standing of paint manufacturers in Malaysia. MPMA is also a subsector of the Chemical Industry Council of Malaysia and together supports the initiatives of the Chemical industry. For additional media enquiries, please contact the following: Tel: 03-7491 3138; Fax: 03-7733 3138

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Ms. Tan May Lee
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