Add-on charges for littering still under discussion

Despite warning signs erected, rubbish is still indiscriminately dumped in parts of Ipoh. — filepic

THE maximum fine for littering will remain at RM500 for now, but the authorities are looking at tacking on the additional costs incurred in cleaning up illegal dumpsites to the fines.

Clarifying on the authorities’ review of a new compound rate, Datuk Bandar Zamri Man said the Ipoh City Council is still discussing the matter and the plan calls for compounds with additional charges to be issued to litterbugs.

“The amount between RM250 and RM500 is fixed and we are still discussing to have additional costs added to the compound.

“For example if say there’s a need for trucks to pick up the rubbish, the cost of hiring the vehicle will be added to the fine,” he said.

“Any other additional charges will also be added to the total, up to a maximum of RM1,000,” Zamri told reporters after chairing the City Council’s full board meeting last Friday.

It was reported earlier this month that the City Council had planned to review the compound rates in its bid to clamp down on littering in the city.

The City Council has also started to deploy plainclothes enforcement officers to look out for offenders.

Zamri said the City Council is doing its best to nab the offenders.

“We believe these are mainly repeat offenders, having not been caught and continuing with their behaviour. People think it’s easy to catch them, but it’s not,” he said.

“We have had our enforcement officers stake out at common illegal dumpsite for hours, but still couldn’t catch anyone,” he added.

Zamri said once the litterbugs are caught and fined, they will learn their lesson and stop littering.

“We have eight enforcement officers in two teams tasked to finding and catching litterbugs.

“The mindset among the public towards the cleanliness of their surroundings is not there yet but there is awareness,” he said.

On the request by Sungai Pari Flats residents seeking more time, to move out from the building which has been categorised as unsafe and a dengue hotspot Zamri said there was no deadline for them to move out.

“We will try to assist them in any way possible,” he said, adding that there are 43 families still living in the flats.

“The letter they received is just to inform them of a move to a safer place. Many of the residents of the flats agreed to the move” he said.

Zamri said there are plans to redevelop the area into a new residential project.

“Officials from the Housing and Local Government Ministry have already checked the area but there’s no feedback yet.

“We have also asked the state to follow up on the matter,” he said.

On another matter, Zamri said the City Council has loosened regulations to allow eateries to incorporate more creativity when designing its dining area.

He said, after consulting with city councillors and stakeholders regarding the matter, the change in regulations will enable eateries, especially cafes, to feature different themes.

“Prior to this change, the rules stated that the walls and floor needs to have proper tiling. With the amendment, they have the option of using other materials that are non-toxic, non-water permeable and that can be easily cleaned,” he said, adding that kitchen areas, however, will still require proper tiling.

On the 21st Ipoh International Run, Zamri said the event will be flagged off at Dataran Ipoh on Aug 6 at 6.30am.

He said some 8,000 participants from various countries, including the US, Kenya, Thailand, Singapore, China, Taiwan and the UK, have already registered.

“We’ve also invited our twin city Nanning, China, to send a delegation to take part in the run,” he said.



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