Thursday, January 21

RM10,000 fine for driver of smoky light truck

0

KOTA KINABALU: A supervisor whose vehicle was found to be emitting hazardous smoke with density of 98.9 percent, which was well in excess of the 50 per cent of maximum density permitted under the regulation, was slapped with a hefty fine of RM10,000 by the Magistrate’s Court here today.

Judge Elsie Primus imposed the fine, in default, six months’ jail on Chua Kok Lip, 53, after finding him guilty of committing the offence at Km 5, Kota Belud-Kota Kinabalu road on August 10, 2017.

The accused, who had committed the offence while driving a light truck, was charged under Section 22 (1) of the Environmental Quality act 1974.

The charge carries a fine of up to RM100,000 or a jail term of up to five years or both, upon conviction and an additional fine of RM1,000 per day if the offence is committed continuously after the accused received a notice given by the director general.

In her reserved decision, the judge held that the accused had failed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

The charge stated that the accused, who had no licence under the said section, had discharged the smoke found to have exceeded the maximum density fixed under Rule 11 (1) of the Environmental Quality Rules 1996.

In mitigation, probono basis counsel Jo Anne Jamesone, who represented the accused, requested for a lower fine to be imposed on the accused.

The counsel submitted that the accused is a supervisor of a paddy field and is currently having hard times in terms of income due to Covid-19.

She also said that the accused was previously the sole breadwinner of his family but currently since the Movement Control Order was enforced, the accused’s wife has started a small house bakery business to support their family, and the couple have two small children, who are still schooling.

In reply, the prosecution urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence on the accused to serve as a lesson to the accused and a reminder to would-be offenders in future.

The prosecution argued that the smoke emitted from the exhaust pipe of the vehicle was potentially causing air pollution and if the action was allowed to occur, it will increase the air pollution level and cause harm to the public health.

The prosecution had called five witnesses to testify against the accused and the defence had produced four witnesses, including the accused.