Hunt on for men who dumped waste into sea from lorry, says exco

The two men were caught on video dumping construction waste into the North Sea in George Town, Penang, about two weeks ago. (Screengrab)

GEORGE TOWN: The authorities are hunting down two men caught on video dumping construction waste into the sea here about two weeks ago, the state assembly was told today.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo hoped the Department of Environment (DoE) and other authorities will charge the culprits in court under the “harshest of laws” once they are caught.

The men were filmed dumping what appeared to be construction waste from a lorry into the North Beach waters off Farquhar Street, sparking outrage among the public after the video went viral.

Jagdeep (DAP-Dato Keramat) said the city council had lodged a police report and the Road Transport Department had been alerted to the registration plate number of the lorry.

He said brazen acts of illegal dumping were the result of the lack of punitive federal laws to deter would-be offenders.

On Penang’s part, he said, laws to punish those who litter and dump waste were being considered.

However, there were limitations on what the state could enact because of overlapping federal laws.

“The puny fines are merely a slap on the wrist. They (authorities) must investigate quickly. I want to see the culprits in court, they must be brought to justice,” Jagdeep said during the debate of the motion of thanks for the governor’s speech.

Satees Muniandy (DAP-Bagan Dalam) interjected, saying the DoE was not willing to take offenders to court but merely wanting to issue compounds or fines.

Satees said the DoE and other relevant agencies should be held responsible for not taking effective enforcement action against illegal dumping.

Jagdeep replied that these agencies were “family now” and pointing fingers would not help.

“I feel we should increase and enhance the laws. We should do what we can do best, which is to legislate laws,” he said.