C4 Centre calls for action against ex-deputy home minister for rice dumping

KUALA LUMPUR: The Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Centre) wants the government to take stringent action against former Deputy Home Minister Ismail Mohamed Said for discarding food items in an allegedly illegal landfill area.

In a statement, the C4 Centre deemed Ismail's actions negligent and unacceptable for a former member of parliament to do so.

It said merely accepting responsibility and expressing regret, as he did in his statement, was insufficient.

"The action of illegal disposal of waste can be charged under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007, which carries a fine from RM10,000 to a maximum of RM100,000, or a jail term of six months to five years, or both.

"Not only that, some of the items in the dumpsite seen in the circulated videos were burned, which is a crime under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 where an offender can be fined a maximum of RM500,000 or jail term of up to 5 years, or both.

"Both of these actions are egregious considering Malaysia is already dealing with existing illegal dumping and waste management issues," the statement read.

C4 Centre said as a former lawmaker, Ismail should have known of the impact of his actions particularly in light of Malaysia's existing illegal dumping and waste management issues.

"He and his team should have worked together with waste management agencies such as SWCorp, along with the Padi and Rice Supervision Section under the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry to dispose of the rice."

Previously, it was reported that Ismail admitted to disposing of rice and other food items at a site in Temerloh, Pahang, after images went viral.

In a statement, Ismail said the items were from a stockpile he had prepared for his constituents when he was the Kuala Krau MP, but that they were no longer fit for public consumption.

He said the food items were bought using personal funds.

Meanwhile, Pahang Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp) director Sharudin Hamid said early investigations revealed that the site was not gazetted as a garbage disposal site and they were investigating the case under the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007.

Separately, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu instructed the Temerloh Rice and Rice Supervision Office (KPB) to conduct an investigation.

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