Selangor passes bill for heavier punishment against water polluters


THE Selangor Water Management Board (LUAS) Amendment Bill 2020 which provides for heavier punishments for water pollutants was passed yesterday.

The amendment included increasing the fine from RM100,000 to a minimum of RM200,000 and a maximum of RM1 million, while imprisonment was made mandatory.

The amended law also allows LUAS to claim the cost of cleaning water resources and compensation while holding the seized property from the offenders.

Other new provisions under the law include creating a deputy DG position, to authorise the DG to perform the functions of a director if the director is unable to perform duties or is on leave, and increase the number of committee members that can receive allowances, among others.

In the Selangor’s Budget 2021 tabling last month, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state government has allocated RM200 million solely to solve water pollution issues.

The Selangor government’s total budget for next year is RM2.32 billion, slightly lower than the budget allocated for this year which was RM2.33 billion.

Amirudin said 53% of the total, or RM1.22 billion is allocated for administrative cost, while the remaining 47 % or RM1.1 billion will go towards development expenses.

Meanwhile, the Selangor government has spent almost RM400 million for various initiatives and programmes in fighting Covid-19, said state Public Health, Unity, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud.

“The Selangor government is constantly monitoring Covid-19 cases in the state and will plan new initiatives and programmes based on the current situation,” she said in a reply to state assemblyman Dr Daroyah Alwi at the state legislative assembly in Shah Alam yesterday.

She added that among the initial steps taken by the state government is to implement the community screening programme in the red zone areas.

A total of 5,433 Covid-19 screenings have been done in Phase 1, which costs about RM1.6 million.

Dr Siti Mariah said RM1.36 million was allocated for the Phase 2 screening which targets at-risk groups including individuals coming from Sabah.

She added that the Phase 2 screening will be implemented until 2021.

The Selangor government has also allocated RM5.8 million for face masks donation to schools, education departments and offices, community service centres and civil servants.

It has also donated disinfectant kits to 854 registered nurseries in Selangor at a cost of RM690,000.