NREB warns of fine, jail for open burning

Posted on 18 May 2023
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Speakers from participating departments in a group photo with participants.

BINTULU (May 17): The Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) has warned the public not to engage in open burning activities, or face risk of being fined or jail time. The board in a statement today said those convicted of committing open burning offences can be prosecuted under Section 30(1)(a) and Section 30(2) of the Natural and Natural Resources Ordinance (Amendment 2019).

“If found guilty, they could be fined not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisoned for 5 years or both,” it said in a press statement. NREB also urged the public to help extinguish small fires and report open burning cases to the nearest NREB office or WhatsApp to its hotline number at 013-7595866, or call 082-319543.

The confidentiality of the report is also guaranteed under Section 38 Protection of Whistleblowers, of the same Ordinance, it added. On another note, NREB in the statement revealed a total of 125 participants comprising project developers, community and ethnic group leaders around Bintulu attended an environmental awareness programme today.

The half-day programme themed ‘Open Burning and Haze Problem’ was held at Li Hua Hotel Bintulu. It was organised by NREB Bintulu in collaboration with the Sarawak Department of Environment, Malaysian Meteorological Department, Fire and Rescue Department and Bintulu Health Office.

Among the topics covered were talks on open burning and haze in Sarawak, prevention and monitoring of peatland fires and other fire risk areas. There were also other talks by the representatives from the Malaysian Meteorological Department, Fire and Rescue Department and Bintulu Health Office.

NREB said the objective of the programme is to provide awareness about issues related to open burning, the implications to the environment and local health. “In addition, this programme will be able to instill a sense of responsibility among the community to be sensitive in caring for the environment,” it said.

NREB hoped through this initiative, all parties will join hands in preserving and conserving the environment towards Sarawak’s sustainable development.

by Yunus Yussop, 17 May 2023 Wednesday

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