Environmental Regulations in East Asian Countries

Environmental Regulations in East Asian Countries



Environmental Regulations in East Asian Countries

            Singapore has been ranked as one of the top countries in the Asia Pacific region that encourage inward investment for financial institutions. This is viewed as one of the greatest driving forces for foreign investors to do business in the country. According to a report by Norton Rose (2010), Singapore emerged as the best country compared to Hong Kong and Australia with regulatory regimes that encourage growth rather than hinder it. The report praised the country for having the best investment-friendly and most liberal regulatory systems in the whole of Asia. Malaysia, on the other hand, has a complicated regulatory regime especially in the financial sector, which is controlled by Bank Negara.

            According to Thornton (2011), the Malaysian government has made certain changes in the capital markets in an aim of boosting foreign investment. This is through cutting the equity quotas for fund management firms and share offerings. The roles of the powerful and conservative panels that oversee such ventures have also been reduced. Thornton (2011) reports that foreign interests are not allowed to own residential units valued lower than RM 250,000 (Malaysian Ringgit), general property valued lower than RM 500,000, property built on reserved Malay land and residential units under the category of low and medium cost as determined by the State Authority. As much as the country holds these regulations towards foreign investment, it is all aimed at the provision of a better framework that will influence capital flows and promote the financial growth and economic stability of the country.

            An employee in Singapore is not allowed to work for more than twelve hours in a day unless, there is an accident or a threat of the same, the task is critical to national defense or security. The same is applicable if the work is urgent and has to be done with machinery or because of an interruption in working hours, which was unavoidable (Ministry of Manpower, 2013). Employers that require their employees to work more than 12 hours a day must apply for the overtime exemption from the ministry. Accordingly, the employee must be paid 1.5 times his or her basic hourly rate. The Ministry of Manpower (2013) states that an employee is allowed to work for forty-four hours in a week while taking breaks between every six hours of work.

            Under the Malaysian Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1952, the working hours are limited to eight in a day and six days in a week (Job Seeker Handbook, n.d). The rest day however, shall not be compensated in terms of wages. Nevertheless, an employee can work on his/her rest day if there is a threat to the workplace, an accident, the work is essential to the defense of the country or if it is urgent. A worker is entitled to a break of not less than 30 minutes after five consecutive hours of work. An employee is allowed to work overtime, but should not exceed 48 hours in a week and has to be paid not less than 1.5 times the hourly rate of a normal day’s work. A worker who is injured in the line of duty shall also be compensated (Job Seeker Handbook, n.d).

            The environmental regulation in Singapore is sufficient since it is very welcoming to foreign investors. It is the best regulatory system in the whole of Asia. There are no major limitations as compared to Malaysia, where a foreign investor is not allowed to own property under a certain limit. The working hours and wages in both Singapore and Malaysia are ethical since they cover wages for the employee’s time while he is working and while resting during work hours. They are also justified since they ensure that employees receive a sufficient compensation for the overtime work they do.


Job Seeker Handbook. n.d. The Working Hours and Rest for Employees. Retrieved from http://my.jobsdb.com/MY/EN/V6HTML/JobSeeker/handbook/regulation-of-employment/hiring_7.htm

Job Seeker Handbook. n.d. Workmen’s Compensation. Retrieved from http://my.jobsdb.com/MY/EN/V6HTML/JobSeeker/handbook/regulation-of-employment/compensation_2.htm

Norton Rose. 2010. The Singapore regulatory environment is a driver for financial institutions to do business. Retrieved from http://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/news/31601/the-singapore-regulatory-environment-is-a-driver-for-financial-institutions-to-do-business

Thornton, G. 2011. Doing Business in Malaysia. PDF file

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