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KOTA BARU, April 4 — A fine of up to RM15 million is being proposed for those found guilty of committing scheduled waste pollution.
Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said this was among the proposed amendments to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 that was currently being reviewed.
He said heavier penalties were needed as the existing amount of compound provided under the act was too low.
“We want to increase the fine amount up to RM15 million and also imposes mandatory imprisonment.
“This is because, in the event of pollution, we have to suspend the operation of water treatment plants and water operators have to deploy water tankers to provide water supply to residents.
“They have to bear millions of ringgit in cost to provide water supply while the plants were being suspended although the pollution was caused by other quarters,” Tuan Ibrahim told reporters after officiating the Kelantan-level work ballot draw ceremony under the ministry’s allocation here, today.
Currently, Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 states that no person shall place, deposit or dispose of any scheduled wastes on land or into Malaysian waters, except at prescribed premises, without any prior written approval of the Director-General of Environment.
Anyone found guilty of violating the law is liable to a fine of not exceeding RM500,000 or to imprisonment of not exceeding five years or both.
Tuan Ibrahim said the amendments to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 was expected to be tabled in the next Parliament sitting. — Bernama