A company director and road contractor face a lifetime in prison for causing the latest water cuts in Selangor that affected more than a million household.
New Straits Times
(NST) reported that R. Nathan and Lim Kian Aik, with common intention, "caused harm to the water services in Selangor at a premises at Jalan Velox 2, Taman Velox, Rawang between Nov 2 and Nov 10."
First to be facing life sentence for such an offence
Water pollution causing water disruption in Selangor is such a common offence but the punishment for it is often just fines.
But this time, the authorities are serious about dealing with irresponsible people who knowingly cause harm to millions of people.
The duo will be the first to be charged under Section 124K of the Penal Code under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
Both pleaded guilty to the charges and were not offered bail as the charge is under Sosma.
Deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad reportedly said that the case must be tried in High Court as it involved national security.
"The charge under Section 124K involves national security, and the trial would be under the procedures of Sosma.
"There is no bail and we are clear on that," NST quoted.
Besides the charges under Sosma, Nathan and Lim also faced other charges.
Both pleaded not guilty to five under the Water Services Industry Act 2006 and the Environmental Quality Act 1974 for releasing hazardous waste into the Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd public sewage treatment plant.
If convicted, the accused face a fine not exceeding RM100,000, or a jail term not exceeding a year, or both for those charges.
Under Section 34A(2) of the Environmental Quality Act which carries a fine of not more than RM500,000, or an imprisonment period not exceeding five years, or both, the duo were accused with carrying out off-site storage without obtaining approval from the relevant authority.
Another charge under Section 34B(1)(a) of the Act which carries a fine of no more than RM500,000 and a jail term of no more than five years, they were alleged to have used the premises at Jalan Velox to place scheduled waste which were non-halogenated organic solvents without prior approval of the Director-General.
The accused were said to have committed all the crimes at the same premise.
Looks like the prosecutors are really serious about making the perpetrators pay for their actions.
We hope this will set an example for anyone who think that they can get away with polluting our water sources with nothing more than a slap on the wrist!