GEORGE TOWN: The state will rope in other agencies to look into ways to strengthen anti-dumping laws that include higher penalties against offenders.
State Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said a meeting between the agencies, including the Immigration Department, police, and the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Department of Environment (DoE) will be convened soon.
“We know the RM2,000 fine was a slap on the wrist, but we have to follow what is provided for under the law and the fine was the maximum under the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) by-laws,” he said.
He said the state would study ways to strengthen laws to enable stringent monitoring against illegal dumping.
“We have to follow what is provided for under the law and the fine is the maximum under the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) by-laws,” he said yesterday.
Jagdeep was commenting on the landowner of the illegal dumpsite in Bukit Teh who was fined RM2,000 after he pleaded guilty at a Magistrate’s Court in Bukit Mertajam on Thursday.
Also slapped with the same fine was the operator of a nearby illegal factory.
The landowner, H’ng Boon Chai, was charged under the MPSP Refuse Collection, Removal and Disposal (Municipal Council of Province Wellesley) By-Laws 1994.
The factory, Young Master Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd, was charged under the MPSP Licence Fees By-Law 1980 and fined RM2,000 after a representative pleaded guilty.
RM2,000 is the maximum fine stipulated under both by-laws.
Jagdeep said landowners could be charged under Section 26 of the Town and Country Planning Act, which carries a jail term of two years, or Section 29 of the Environmental Quality Act (EQA), which carries a jail term of five years, if they committed such acts in future.
“Both these laws carry a maximum fine of RM500,000 if convicted.
“However, in this case, the landowner could not be charged under the EQA as it was not a scheduled or an environmentally hazardous waste,” said Jagdeep.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia president Meenakshi Raman said a RM2,000 fine for illegal dumping was too low and did not commensurate with the dangers posed by waste dumping on the environment and public health.