Light Industry In Malaysia

Light industries in Malaysia are usually manufacturers whose products are usually produced by the company themselves, but the usage of the products is usually by someone else which mostly are the consumers. Light industries are usually not very capital intensive.

A buffer zone, which is the area or distance between industries and residential areas, is introduced to distance the residential area from the area of activity to reduce the exposure to pollution.

Figure 1: Buffer Zone between Industrial Area and Residential Area

The buffer zones vary based on the specific activity carried out in the industry itself. Below are some examples for a few general activities which can be categorized under Light Industry. There will be overlapping of activities of light, medium and heavy industries but the categorisations are mainly based on the scale of the activity itself.

No Description
1. Manufacture of Food Products Processing and preserving of fruits and vegetables Manufacture of vegetables, margarine, dairy products, grain mill products, etc.
2. Manufacture of Beverages Manufacture wines, soft drinks, and mineral water
3. Manufacture of Tobacco Products Manufacture of tobacco products and tobacco substitutes
4. Manufacture of Textiles Spinning, preparing textiles and reeling and washing of silk. Manufacture textile floor coverings, narrow woven fabrics
5. Manufacture of Wearing Apparel Manufacture of wearing apparel, articles of fur, knitted and crocheted apparel
6. Manufacture of Leather and Related Products Manufacture luggage, handbags and footwear
7. Manufacture of Wood and of Products of Wood and Cork, except Furniture; Manufacture of Articles of Straw and Plaiting Materials Manufacture of other wood products, articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials
8. Manufacture of Paper and Paper Products Manufacture pulp, paper and paperboard including envelopes, wallpaper, etc.
9. Printing and Reproduction of Recorded Media Printing and services related to printing and reproduction of recorded media
10. Manufacture of Chemicals and Chemical Products Manufacture basic chemicals, distilled water and other chemical products
11. Manufacture of Basic Pharmaceutical Products and Pharmaceutical Preparations Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical and botanical products
12. Manufacture of Rubber and Plastic Products Manufacture or semi-manufacture of plastic products or finished plastic products.
13. Manufacture of Computer, Electronic and Optical Products Manufacture electric components, communication equipment and consumer electronics for home entertainment.
14. Manufacture of Electrical Equipment Manufacture of electric motors, batteries, and accumulators Manufacture of fiber optic cables and other electronics and wires and cables.
15. Manufacture of Machinery and Equipment n.e.c Manufacture of machinery and power-driven hand tools
16. Manufacture of Other Transport Equipment Manufacture of transport equipment
17. Other Manufacturing Manufacture or jewelry, , sports goods, games and toys, and dental instruments and supplies
18. Repair and Installation of Machinery Equipment Repair of electronic and optical equipment, electrical equipment and transport equipment, etc.
19. Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply Electric power generation transmission and distribution and steam and air conditioning supply
20. Water Collection, Treatment and Supply Water collection, treatment, and distribution activities for domestic and industrial demand, operation of irrigation canals
21. Sewerage Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical, and botanical products

A primary buffer zone is an area or distance which is located outside the designated area for the project or proposed activity. Comparatively, the light industry needs a shorter primary buffer zone compared to medium and heavy industries. The table shown below shows the criteria for an industry to be considered as light industry and the minimum buffer zone for it:

Category Industry/Activity Description Primary buffer zone requirement
Light None or very low pollution potential for air pollution, noise, vibration, odour, fire or explosion Does not involve the use of hazardous raw materials or production of hazardous products Use of renewal or low greenhouse gas emission sources of energy Generate no or very low amounts of wastewater with potential to contribute to water pollution Generate non-hazardous solid waste and no significant amount of scheduled wastes
Greater or equal to 50 m. Buffer distance for specific processes or polluting sources which are difficult to control effectively may require greater buffer distances. Actual buffer is to be determined by modeling studies where necessary.

If it is unsure whether the activity planned falls under Light, Medium or Heavy industry, the Department of Environment (DOE) should be consulted for further information. A professional engineer could also be consulted so that a proper buffer zone can be assigned to avoid future complications.

Disclaimer: The information above is only extra references to “Guidelines for Siting and Zoning of Industrial and Residential Areas” as published by Department of Environment (DOE). We do not take any responsibility and not liable for any misunderstandings, loss and damages caused by information above. Kindly consult Department of Environment (DOE) for more detailed information.

Ir. Dr. Justin LAI Woon Fatt
CEO/ Founder
IPM Group

1. Department of Environment. (2019). GUIDELINES FOR SITING AND ZONING OF INDUSTRY AND RESIDENTIAL AREAS (2nd ed., p. 134). Retrieved from

Posted in <a href="" rel="category tag">Architectural Services</a>, <a href="" rel="category tag">Construction Services</a>, <a href="" rel="category tag">Engineering Services</a>Tags: <a href="" rel="tag">industry malaysia</a>, <a href="" rel="tag">manufacturer</a>

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