Malaysia– Business establishments found responsible for open burning in the country may soon have to pay heftier fines.
This follows the call by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar for the review on the Environmental Quality Act 1974 where individuals found guilty of open-burning would have to pay a compound of RM2,000.
“This is currently the fine that has to be paid by all guilty parties.
“But it is not fair to for a resident in a kampung and a big corporation to pay the same fine for similar a offence. For big companies, the fine could be mere petty cash,” he said.
Wan Junaidi, however, was mum on how much these companies would be fined, only noting that there will be a gradual scale in the fine.
“A committee in the ministry has been formed to review the fine for open-burning, and outcome will be presented to the ministry within three months,” he said, adding that the findings will also be presented to the Cabinet.
He also said this year, up to Feb 17, the Department of Environment found 335 cases of open burning nationwide, including 39 cases in forests, 55 in agricultural areas, three in industrial area and eight in construction sites.
He noted that the ban on open-burning is still being enforced nationwide.
Wan Junaidi told reporters this after chairing the National Haze Committee meeting at Wisma Sumber Asli here today afternoon.
The meeting was held with representatives of various agencies, including the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), Health Ministry, Education Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, the police and the Meteorological Department, to discuss haze prevention methods during the dry season caused by the El-nino phenomenon, which is expected to last until April.