Selangor Journal
The condition in Sungai Semenyih, Dengkil, following the odour pollution incident which caused the temporary closure of the Sungai Semenyih and Bukit Tampoi Water Treatment Plants, on October 5, 2020. — Picture by REMY ARIFIN/SELANGORKINI

Millions spent for river clean up, Selangor DOE supports RM10 mln penalty

By Nadiah Zamlus

SHAH ALAM, March 30 — The Selangor Department of Environment (DOE) fully supports the government’s intention to increase fines against environmental and water source offenders from RM100,000 to RM10 million.

Its director Nor Aziah Jaafar said the amount is reasonable in line with the cost of cleaning up the pollution that had to be borne by the state government.

“In 2016, the Selangor government had to spend RM8 million to clean the polluted Sungai Semenyih, while the Johor government spent about RM6 million to clean up Sungai Kim Kim.

“Based on these scenarios, it is appropriate to increase the maximum penalty to RM10 million, in addition to having a mandatory prison sentence to teach a lesson to water polluters.

Selangor DOE director, Nor Aziah Jaafar (bottom, right) and Luas director, Hasrolnizam Shaari (left) during the Selangor Water Forum held in conjunction with the state-level World Water Day celebration via a live broadcast on Luas Facebook page, on March 30, 2021. — Picture by NADIAH ZAMLUS

“The impact caused by irresponsible parties brought difficulties to millions of (water) users and became one of the issues that constantly worries the people of Selangor,” she said at the Selangor Water Forum held in conjunction with the state-level World Water Day celebration that was broadcast live on the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) Facebook page today.

Recently, the Environment and Water Ministry (Kasa) had announced plans to increase the fine to RM10 million from the current RM100,000 for those convicted of polluting the environment and water sources.

Its minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said this was among the matters being studied by his ministry in an effort to prevent any element of river pollution.

Meanwhile, Nor Aziah said RM278,000 were collected from compounds issued last year for environmental crimes involving water pollution.

She explained that the highest number of cases successfully prosecuted in court and fined for the same offense in 2019 was 100 cases with a total fine of RM1.37 million.

“However, last year, only 38 charges were filed with a total fine of RM325,000,” she said.

 

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