PUTRAJAYA: The proposed amendment to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) to increase the fine on environmental criminals to RM10 million, is currently in the final stage, said Environment and Water Ministry (Kasa) secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang.

“Everything is ready, the process is in the final stage now. Kasa is waiting for our turn to table it in the Parliament,” he told reporters after participating in a cycling programme here today.

He added that the existing fine of RM500,000 for environmental crimes was too low, and sometimes offenders were only required to pay a 10 per cent compound or RM50,000 only.

“Big companies think RM50,000 is only a small amount. If 10 per cent of RM10 million, they need to pay RM1 million and it will have a big impact,“ he said.

According to the Department of Environment (DOE), a total of 4,111 environmental pollution complaints were received in the first six months of this year, of which more than 80 per cent of complaints were regarding air pollution or open burning.

Meanwhile, Deputy Environment and Water Minister Datuk Mansor Othman said Kasa had proactively resolved various environment-related complaints, especially those received on social media platforms.

On today’s event, Mansor said Kasa was the first ministry to launch such a programme to preserve environmental sustainability.

Some 40 ministry staff took part in the programme where they gathered at the Nasyrul Quran Complex, Precinct 14 before cycling to their office at Complex F, Precinct 1.

The first phase of the programme will be held weekly in line with the aspiration to make Malaysia a low-carbon country by 2030. - Bernama