KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) was fined RM100,000 and one day jail by the Sessions Court, today, for releasing industrial effluent to the open environment.
SFI represented by its Vice Manager, Rincent Severianus, admitted to commit the offense of releasing industrial effluent with 81 mg/l concentration, exceeding the Standard B of 50 mg/l, between 10.25am until 12.40pm in 5 December 2013.
The respondent has been charged under Regulation 11(1)(b) of the Environmental Quality Regulation (Industrial Effluent) 2009 and punishable under Regulation 32 of the same act, which carries the punishment of up to RM100,000 fine or five years jail maximum, or both, with additional RM1,000 fine maximum for the duration of day the offense is committed.
According to the case fact, an inspection was carried out in the same day and location by Sipitang Environment Department authority, where they found the industrial effluent at the area was directly dumped into Brunei Bay.
In mitigation, the respondent represented by his lawyer S. Vanigopal applied for a minimum fine.
However, the prosecutor reasoned that a heavy punishment should be given since the respondent has committed a serious offense.
Judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad was also notified that the respondent has three past charges from 2005 to 2008 under the Environmental Quality Act.
Despite the current offense was not under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, the respondent nonetheless involved with similar offense.
“The environment belongs to everyone. If any individual or company causes pollution, then everyone will be affected,” he stressed.
Vice Prosecutor Hashim Awang prosecuted for the Federal Environment Department. -SayangSabah