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Polluting sea: SFI fined RM110k
Published on: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd (SFI) was fined RM110,000 for discharging fuel effluent into the sea.

Sessions Court Judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad ordered the company to pay the fine after its representative maintained the guilty plea to the charge when the case was brought up for sentencing on Monday.

The court also ordered the company to pay RM12,003.62 in compensation to three local fishermen who were affected by the act.

The company was found discharging fuel oil from its MFO Shore tank to the waters at Teluk Brunei without a permit from the General Director of Environmental Quality.

The offence allegedly took place at 9.40am on Aug 10, 2015 at the SFI premises in Sipitang.

The offence, under Section 27(1) of the Environmental Quality Act and punishable under Section 27(2) of the same Act, carries a fine of up to RM500,000 or a jail term of up to five years, or both, on conviction.

Earlier, Prosecuting Officer Awang Hashim from the Environmental Department, told the court that the department received complaints from the three fishermen about the pollution act by the company.

However, the company, through its representative, said it was the court's discretion to entertain the claims or not. He said the chain of pollution in this case is too remote and it is rather a civil suit by the fishermen which shall be dealt with in another action.

The representative also said it was not the first time that SFI was hauled to the court for law violation.

Previously between December 2015 and September 2016, the company faced a slew of charges of releasing effluent into the watercourse and violating the Occupational Safety and Health and the Factories and Machinery Acts.

In another court, a Filipino was jailed four months and ordered given a stroke of the cane for entering the State illegally.

Azman Toba admitted before Sessions Court Judge Azreena Aziz to entering the State without any valid document.

After completing his jail sentence, the court ordered Azman to be referred to the Immigration Department. - Cynthia D Baga


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