Phee: Give local councils more power


GEORGE TOWN: Local council enforcement officers and auxiliary police should be given the power to stop and investigate vehicles transporting waste.

State environment committee chairman Phee Boon Poh appealed to the Transport Ministry to delegate such authority, saying it would help authorities track the destination of lorries carrying waste.

Phee said only the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police have the power to stop vehicles and he urged the law to be amended (to give local council authorities the right).

“This is one way to control illegal dumping as we can make them produce documents on where the waste was from and its destination,” he said after attending the Plexus Environmental Walk at Plexus Manufacturing Solutions in Bayan Lepas.

Phee said vehicles transporting waste should be required to be registered with the relevant local council and be fixed with GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices.

On the issue of a lorry driver who was caught dumping construction waste near Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Phee said Penang Island City Council (MBPP) would take legal action against the driver.

“We found that after the incident near Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, the driver committed the offence again, many times.

“It is one thing to commit such an offence on private land but dumping waste on government land involves trespassing,” he said.

Last month, MBPP reportedly seized the driver’s lorry and checks found that the 57-year-old man was disposing waste for a construction company in Bayan Lepas.

Phee urged factories and companies to ensure their waste was properly disposed.

“Factories and companies should remember they are paying these providers money to do the disposal, and some of these providers are selling them out by illegally dumping their waste everywhere.”