Call to raise fine to RM1mil to be tabled

PETALING JAYA: A proposal to raise the existing RM50,000 fine to RM1mil for those who pollute water sources will be tabled at the Selangor state assembly in October, it was announced.

Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said the penalty under the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) Enactment 1999 did not seem to deter those who polluted rivers and caused major water disruptions.

He said higher penalties were needed for enforcement authorities to tackle the matter effectively.

“The proposal to raise the RM50,000 fine to RM1mil under the Luas Enactment will be brought to the state assembly,” he said in a statement after chairing a meeting yesterday on the water disruption that affected millions of households in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of Luas, Selangor Department of Environment, police, Selayang City Council (MPS) and Gombak Land and District Office.

Amirudin said that besides clamping by the MPS and arrest by police, Luas and the Selangor DOE would widen their odour tracking to Sungai Sembah.

He said this was to complement the efforts already being carried out in 53 premises around Sungai Gong to ensure no recurrence of the contamination.

On the four suspects arrested for allegedly polluting Sungai Gong which led to the massive disruption, Amirudin said the Gombak Land and District Office would issue a notice for the factory to be vacated immediately as its operations had been stopped on Thursday.

The Mentri Besar also said that Air Selangor had pledged to resume water supply to 50% of the affected households, with hospitals and dialysis centres given priority.

Separately, National Water Services Commission (SPAN) chairman Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli said the investigation paper on the pollution of Sungai Gong would be completed within a week.

He said SPAN was working on obtaining evidence from the parties involved and the completed investigation paper would be handed over to the prosecuting officer.

“SPAN will take stern action against those who pollute the raw water source in Sungai Gong, which includes considering the use of Section 121 of the Water Services Industry Act,” he said in a statement.

The offence provides for a fine of up to RM500,000 or a jail term of up to 10 years, or whipping, or all three upon conviction.

Wan Hassan said SPAN had the right to investigate and prosecute any party or individual who committed an offence related to the supply of treated water and sewerage services, including polluting raw water sources.

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