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RM500 if caught open burning in Penampang: Council
Published on: Friday, March 01, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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RM500 if caught open burning in Penampang: Council
A senior officer with the Council’s Health Division indicates the location where the garden waste is being burned in the open space
PENAMPANG ratepayers risk being compounded up to RM500 if they are caught open-burning in their respective areas.

A District Council spokesman said such action could be taken in extreme cases, under the Uniform (Anti-Litter) By-Laws 2010.

He said those living in Taman Sindo were officially informed about the consequences of being caught incinerating their garbage in the common areas recently.

“Six personnel with our Health Division recently handed out notices – prohibiting such activities – to about 100 tenants, residents and homeowners in the neighbourhood,” he said. 

The unknown individual dragging the fallen branches to a spot where a fire has been lit.

He said these staff had earlier participated in a joint-operation with their peers from the Council’s Landscaping, Engineering and Urban Services Divisions to clean up the open space-cum-playground for the housing area.

“They used chainsaws to trim the canopy of five coconut trees and fell two others. 

“A backhoe loader and open truck was deployed to assist them in this effort.”

This action was prompted by feedback that one part of the open space had been turned into an illegal dump where rubbish and garden waste, was frequently burned.

The homeowner, who spoke out about the smoke and smell nuisance created by the burning, provided Hotline with the pertinent details, including photos of one of the firebugs dragging some fallen coconut tree branches to be burnt.

This information was forwarded to the Council.

The agency’s staff hands out a notice to the occupant of this home in the neighbourhood.

A senior officer with the Health Division confirmed these goings-on during an inspection carried out a fortnight before the clean-up, according to the spokesman. 

“He found of evidence of the charred remnants at the edge of the green open-space which was part of the playground in Taman Sindo,” he said.

“The circle formed by the traces of soot seemed to suggest that the incineration activity was not just a one-off incidence but had been going on for quite a while already.” 

He said a check of the agency’s records showed that the open space, where this garden waste and other rubbish was being dumped, belonged to the Council.

The spokesman said its staff was still trying to ascertain the identity of the potential arsonist seen in the photos.

“Our Health personnel asked several of the occupants if they knew who was likely to have been burning garden waste in the open space, while handing them the prohibition notices.

One of the coconut trees being felled during the clean-up.

“Some of those queried spoke of an elderly man who did this after going for his morning and evening runs.

“They did not know where he lived but seemed to think that he was not all there, mentally. 

“He had apparently set fire to a mini palm tree outside his house, at one stage.

The Fire and Rescue Services Department had to be called in to put out the blaze on this occasion.”

He said the Council’s personnel would periodically keep an eye on the neighbourhood to try and nab the litterbugs, as well as the errant parties who were incinerating their waste there.

The Council’s Landscaping team carrying the debris to the open truck.

“Ratepayers can also facilitate this effort by contacting us directly if they have any information about these goings-on, including any open burning activities.”

In the meantime, the spokesman said, an Anti-litter sign would be put up at the open space, according to him.

“Our Engineering Department has been apprised of what has been transpiring in Taman Sindo and is arranging to have the sign put together.”

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