ISKANDAR PUTERI: The state government will request the Deputy Public Prosecutor to see if the fines meted out against the parties that caused the pollution incident in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, in 2019 were adequate or otherwise.

Johor River Task Force co-chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor said tackling river pollution was an important priority for the state government.

Mohd Jafni, who is also the chairman of the Johor Housing and Local Government Committee said so far, 14 rivers in Johor were classified as category five, which is polluted, but Sungai Kim Kim was now classified as category three.

“The government will request the Deputy Public Prosecutor to look at it (the punishment) again, whether in terms of the fines imposed and what the government has spent (on cleaning up the river) and impact it has had on the surrounding community, was it worthwhile or otherwise.

“In taking care of the environment, especially the rivers, for future generations, strict enforcement should be implemented by the government,“ he told reporters outside the Johor State Legislative Assembly after the winding-up session, here, today.

He was asked to comment on the Johor Bahru Sessions Court’s sentencing against the polluters of Sungai Kim Kim on Thursday.

Yesterday, the Department of Environment (JOE), in a statement said the court imposed a maximum fine of RM100,000 against lorry driver N. Maridass, for causing pollution by illegally dumping scheduled waste into Sungai Kim Kim in 2019.

A company, P Tech Resources Sdn Bhd, which also faced eight charges, was fined RM40,000 for each charge, totalling RM320,000.

According to the statement, the cases against Maridass and P Tech Resources were tried together and a total of 38 witnesses were called to testify.

Johor Bahru Sessions Court Judge Datuk Che Wan Zaidi Che Wan Ibrahim handed down the sentence on Nov 30 after the accused pleaded guilty to the charges. - Bernama

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