Wednesday, December 6

Three fined for open burning


MIRI: The Department of Environment (DOE) here has compounded three persons for open burning offence yesterday and Friday.

The offenders were two individuals at Emart and Tudan as well as a contractor.

DOE Miri chief Siva Nathiran Subramanian said they were fined RM2,000 each on-the-spot yesterday morning for conducting open burning in totally banned areas.

Bigger cases involving companies will be charged under the Environment Quality Act 1974 (29) (b) which carries a fine up to RM500,000 or five years’ jail or both on conviction.

Siva said should the open burning lead to an extensive wild fire, the offender might be brought to court, and the maximum fine would be RM500,000 or five years’ jail or both on conviction.

DOE will not compromise with any individual who ignores the total ban on open burning at Tudan, Permyjaya and Kuala Baram effective last Friday until further notice.

The notice issued by the federal DOE under Section 29 AA (2) Environment Quality Act (Amendment) 2001 was in response to peat fires in areas that contributed to the unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API).

However open burning for religious purposes, cremation, grilling and barbecue is allowed.

Siva said the department viewed this matter seriously and warned residents in affected areas to obey the restrictions on open burning.

“As the haze has not improved much, we will not hesitate to issue compounds on-the-spot against those found committing the offence,” he told thesundaypost during a site-inspection with Communications Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin at the watch tower behind the SJK (C) Chung Hua Tudan yesterday.

He calls on the public to report any open burning by calling Bomba at 085-420973, DOE Miri (085-426994), Miri Operation Room (085-416625) or Siva (019-3601278).