KUALA LUMPUR: The Environment Department (DOE) issued 89 fines and opened 23 investigation papers into companies and individuals for open burning, says Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis.
The Deputy Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister said that based on monitoring and investigations conducted by the DOE, the main cause of haze in the country was open burning activities in plantations and peat forest fires.
“For open burning, individuals and companies were identified and up till now, 89 compound notices have been issued while 23 investigation papers were opened, ” she said during question time at the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Oct 15).
She warned that Section 29A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 carries a punishment of fines up to RM500,000 or five years prison, or both, upon conviction.
She added that a compound notice for RM2,000 can be issued for each offence.
Isnaraissah was answering Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN-Parit), who had asked whether there were any investigations into the main cause of haze and what actions were taken against the perpetrators.
Nizar also asked the ministry about the government’s efforts in collaborating with other countries in South-East Asia to tackle the annual trans-boundary haze problem.
Isnaraissah said Malaysia will continue to play its role in urging Asean countries such as Indonesia to adhere to the Asean Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution.
“Besides that, member countries must give serious attention towards realising the Roadmap on Asean Cooperation towards Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation, which is the framework to the vision of an Asean Haze-Free Region by 2020, ” she said.
She added that Malaysia will attend the Committee Pollution and Asean Ministerial on Environment (AMME) meeting to discuss issues pertaining to pollution.