BUTTERWORTH: The Federal Government needs to impose stiffer penalties against parties who made false declaration of imported goods as a deterrent against the influx of unwanted shipments, particularly hazardous wastes, into the country.
State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh today said while the recent installation of scanners to detect contents of containers at ports was a welcome move, it should be followed with more punitive measures.
“A RM2,000 fine for any wrong declaration (of imported goods) is not enough. It should be RM5,000 per container as a deterrent (measure for wrong declaration) and false declaration is RM50,000,” he suggested when speaking at the Fourth International Zero Waste Cities Conference here.
His comment came following numerous reports about prohibited plastic waste that were shipped into the country via several ports, including Penang, lately.
“We must be harsh to be kind. We need to check them (the contents of the containers) at the wharf and at the factories (where the containers would be sent to),” he added.
Meanwhile, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) president Mohideen Abdul Kader said that Malaysia took in more imported waste than any other nation since 2018, which had led to the growth of illegal recycling plants in the country.
He said that the global plastic production had increased to 359 million tonnes in 2018 and numerous developed countries today were unable to cope with the increasing rate of waste production.
“We need people to become more mindful of their consumption and minimise waste generation. Our governments need to ban unsustainable products, put up efficient waste collection and management system and be innovative in moving towards becoming a city that establish zero waste models,” he added.
The two-day conference organised by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (Gaia) and CAP gathered local government officials and non-government organisations from 10 countries to discuss zero waste solutions. — Bernama