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Aedes-tainted bin-stand: Sembulan homeowner risks RM10,000 fine
Published on: Tuesday, July 25, 2023
By: Sidney Skinner
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Aedes-tainted bin-stand: Sembulan homeowner risks RM10,000 fine
Solid Waste Management staff in the midst of distributing pamphlets in Kg Sembulan Baru.
A homeowner on Lorong Kg Sembulan 14 risks becoming RM10,000 poorer, for inadvertently allowing mosquitoes to breed in the metal stand he fashioned for his rubbish bin.

A spokesman for the District Health Office (DHO) said this was the maximum fine which could be imposed in court, under the Health Department’s Destruction of Disease-bearing Insects Act 1975.

“Alternatively, offenders might have to spend up to two years behind bars,” he said.

“In the worst case scenario, they could be slapped with both a fine and jail-term.”

This Sembulan homeowner being notified of the collection of the fluid sample from his rubbish bin-stand.

He said the homeowner was briefed about these penalties during an inspection of the village earlier this month.

KKHO inspectors took a closer look at the fluid which had pooled at the base of the bin-stand, according to him.

“Larvae was seen moving about on the surface of the water. 

“A sample was taken and sent to the Department’s laboratories to determine if the insect spawn were of the Aedes variety.”

He said the homeowner was informed officially about the procedure, with the individual acknowledging receipt of a notice to this affect.

“The individual was asked to come to our office, once the results of the test came back from our labs.”

The spokesman said court action could be taken in extreme cases, if the results were positive.

Section 13 of the Act stipulates that:

 (1) No person shall do or perform any act which may, or is liable to, create such conditions as may likely to propagate or harbour disease-bearing insects or permit or allow such conditions to arise or continue.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be deemed guilty of an offence.

Under the Act, repeat offenders might have to shoulder a fine of up to RM50,000, a prison sentence of up to five years, or both. 

Should the DHO decide not to initiate legal proceedings, he said, the homeowner could be compounded up to RM500.

The spokesman said the agency’s personnel got rid of any receptacles, which were deemed to be potential mosquito breeding grounds, during the check of Kg Sembulan Baru.

“A larviciding exercise was later carried out in the area,” he said.

He said four health inspectors from the DHO were involved in an “Operasi Bersepadu Menangani Wabak Denggi” (Unified Anti-Dengue Operation) at the time.

They were joined by three representatives from the Government concessionaire and a 13-strong team from City Hall.

The latter were drawn from the agency’s Environmental Health, Solid Waste Management, Building Control, Enforcement and Traffic and Transport Departments.

A spokeswoman for City Hall’s Environmental Health Department said officers with its Vector Control Division had identified an unoccupied home in the village as being a potential habitat for Aedes mosquitoes.

They noted that the building had fallen into disrepair and was overgrown with weeds, according to her. 

“We are trying to glean the details of the property owner,” she said. “He/ she will be notified to deal with the overgrown greenery on the land.” 

She said the individual could be penalised, if he/ she failed to heed the agency’s notice.

Action could be taken against the ratepayer, under the Local Government Ordinance 1961 (Amendment 2000), for allowing his/ her premises to become a public nuisance, according to her.

A larviciding exercise was carried out in Kg Sembulan Baru.

“Non-compliance may see the offender facing court action, with a fine of up to RM1,000 imposed if he/ she is found guilty.

“Alternatively, the individual could be slapped with a maximum jail-term of six months, or both.”  

The spokeswoman said Traffic and Transport Department staff repaired any of the agency’s signage which was damaged to ensure that rainwater did not become trapped in these structures.

“Their Engineering Department counterpart, on the other hand, observed that runoff was ponding on some of the roads in the village and that the manholes in other sections were overflowing.

“These drainage and sewerage irregularities will be dealt with accordingly.” 

She said workers with the government concessionaire cleared any roadside drains, which were blocked, in a bid to try and mitigate the ponding problem.

On top of this, the spokeswoman said City Hall’s Solid Waste Management personnel distributed pamphlets to 100 homeowners in Kg Sembulan Baru.

“Fifty of these documents pertained to our requirements for individual dustbins while the remainder related to the disposal of garden waste.” 

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