Fines not enough, community service the way to punish litterbugs, says Lam Thye

PETALING JAYA: Shame litterbugs by imposing community service on them rather than fines, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

The Alliance for a Safe Community chairman also called out litterbugs for creating health and environmental problems.

"Litterbugs are indeed a thorn in the side of every community," he said in a statement on Sunday (April 14).

He highlighted the recent issue of trash being thrown from vehicles after images from the Pahang-Kelantan border showed roadsides littered with waste.

"Such an irresponsible act shows the lack of civic-mindedness and... blatant acts of littering in public," Lee said.

ALSO READ: Housing and Local Government Ministry to take strict action against littering

He also said the current approach of fining offenders would not prevent littering, recommending that local authorities strengthen their laws to include community service penalties.

"Fines are never a deterrent for habitual litterbugs.

"Shaming them in public is a form of deterrent," he added.

He believed that making litterbugs do community service by cleaning public areas was a more visible and impactful punishment.

Lee also stressed the need to educate youths on the consequences of littering.

"Another important step will be to educate the young. Many children litter out of ignorance or habit rather than malice," Lee said, adding that Malaysians could learn from Japan when it comes to cleanliness.

Recently, Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming condemned the irresponsible behaviour of those who discard waste indiscriminately, following a viral post on social media.

He said he had ordered his ministry to strictly enforce fines against litterbugs, emphasising a zero-tolerance approach.

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