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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — The Department of Environment (DoE) issued 89 compounds against individuals and companies for open burning during the recent transboundary haze that choked the region.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Deputy Minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis disclosed this during Parliament’s Question Time while answering Parit MP Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria.
“For cases of open burning, individuals and companies which were involved have been identified and to date, 89 compounds has been issued, while 23 investigation papers have been opened for offences concerning open burning,” she said.
Isnaraissah explained that under Section 29A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, unlawful open burning is punishable by a fine of up to RM500,000 and a maximum of five years imprisonment.
“A compound of RM2,000 can also be imposed for each offence committed,” she added.
She also added that the DoE determined the main cause of the haze that blanketed most of the peninsula in September was due to land razing for agriculture and peat fires.
The deputy minister said Malaysia would continue to play its role in pushing for neighbours including Indonesia to abide by the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
Fires believed to be started for land clearing in Indonesia’s Sumatra and Kalimantan were blamed for pollution that caused air quality to reach hazardous levels in parts of Malaysia last month.