Saturday, July 4, 2015

Health Ministry warn local authorities

PETALING JAYA: In an unprecedented move to battle the dengue scourge, the Health Ministry has warned local authorities that it would fine them if they fail to buck up and clean up areas under their care.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the Ministry would not hesitate to fine them under the Destruction of Disease Bearing Insect Act 1975 if their localities were found to be breeding mosquitoes.

"If we find that the absence of action on the part of the local authorities has contributed to breeding of mosquitoes, our Ministry, if we have evidence, we will take action against them," he said.

Dr Subramaniam said this during a spot check at Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara here Friday morning. 

Under the Act, owners of premises found breeding mosquitoes could be issued a compound of up to RM500 or charged in court, said deputy health director-general Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman. 

First-time offenders can be fine not more than RM10,000 or jailed for not more than two years while repeat offenders can be fined RM50,000, jailed two years or both.

He said such action had never been taken against other Government departments, including schools, until now.

Dr Subramaniam said the Ministry would not hesitate to move in this direction due to the severity of the situation.

He said this when asked the action that the Ministry would take if local authorities do not clean up their backyard, as many such instances had been highlighted by the press.

"For now, I am asking the state health director to give updates and show pictures of problematic sites to state authorities and asked them what action the authorities will take," he said.
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