Parliament raises fines for damage to public roads

The amendment was tabled by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
The amendment was tabled by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — The Dewan Rakyat passed today an amendment to the Street, Drainage and Buildings Act 1974 to increase by a hundredfold punishment for developers and utility companies that damage public roads and other infrastructure.

The Street, Drainage and Building (Amendment) Bill 2018 proposed a minimum fine of RM100,000 from the current RM1,000 for the offence of: “damaging, causing, permitting any damage to be done to any street, foot way, verandah way, works or property, belonging to the local authority or those where the public has right of passage.”

Tabled by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, Clause 3 of the Bill will also empower local authorities to direct a person to rectify or bear the cost of repair for any damage or changes done to public roads including footways, verandah ways or public property.

The same clause also proposed an increase in the minimum fine from RM500 to RM50,000 for the offence of taking up pavement without prior written permission of the local or other lawful authority.

“They will have to get written consent before carrying out any works that could affect such properties belonging to the local councils,” said Zuraida when winding up her address.

However, she clarified that the fines were applicable only to developers and public utility companies found guilty of damaging public property or infrastructure, while the amount of the fines will be determined by the courts instead of local councils.

Clause 4 of the Bill proposes that an individual is required to submit a geotechnical report — to be approved by independent engineers — for any construction on slopes higher than 10m with more than a 25-degree gradient.

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