Thursday, June 4

Five Kg Sembulan residents charged in landmark anti-litter case

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KOTA KINABALU: A Sessions Court judge insisted on going to inspect the premises where five people have been charged with littering, and in the process, walked across several old, narrow wooden bridges, before passing judgment on the case.

In a landmark case, Kota Kinabalu City Hall yesterday made history when it enforced the Anti-Litter By-Law 2005 and hauled five people to court for related offences.

Nurazi Ahmad, 66, Norain Lamilah, 53, Mohd Diah Omar, 61, Norsidah Garingan, 57, and Salma, 29, were all brought before Sessions Court judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad.

They were accused of throwing rubbish out of their homes in Kampung Sembulan into the sea, for which they could be fined up to RM10,000 each. And, for repeated offence, they could face a fine of up to RM500 for each day the offence was committed.

All the five accused were charged with committing the offence about 9am on July 23, in Kampung Sembulan.

Judge Ainul Shahrin postponed judgment on Norain, Mohd Diah, Norsidah and Salma until Aug 1 to allow them to clean up their premises even though they had pleaded guilty to the charge.

Earlier, judge Ainul Shahrin issued a warrant of arrest for Nurazi who was absent from the court, but later withdrew it when City Hall prosecuting officer Latizah Latip informed her that the accused had gone to the wrong place (City Hall) instead of the court. She then set Aug 1 for re-mention of the case against Nurazi.

When the other four accused pleaded guilty, Latizah urged judge Ainul Shahrin to impose a light sentence as they had cleaned up their premises. However, Ainul said she was not satisfied with their answers and wanted to see the premises for herself.

She then adjourned the proceedings and went to Kampung Sembulan located about two to three kilometres away, walking across old wooden bridges.

Ainul, who was accompanied by Latizah, City Hall senior assistant enforcement officer Mohamad Amir Romeo Abdullah and several police personnel, spent almost an hour checking on the premises.

Also present in court yesterday were counsels Syarulnizam Salleh and Mohamed Nizam Maduarin, who held a watching brief for the Sabah Legal Association.