S’wak Premier proposes heavier penalties on scrap metal dealers buying stolen goods

S’wak Premier proposes heavier penalties on scrap metal dealers buying stolen goods

Abang Johari (second left) points at a display during a visit to Sarawak Energy’s booth. Also with him are Julaihi (left) and Sesco chief executive officer Lau Kim Swee (second right). – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (July 3): Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has proposed heavier penalties on scrap metal dealers who are found to be purchasing stolen goods.

He said this is to combat theft or vandalism, particularly those involving utility and telecommunication facilities.

“I will discuss this matter with the State Attorney General (Datu Saferi Ali) regarding the law on second-hand goods.

“The present penalty of RM5,000 is too little,” he said when launching the campaign to prevent vandalism against utility and telecommunication facilities at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

Under the Second Hand Dealers Act, 1946, any person who contravenes Section 6 or 8 shall, on conviction, be liable, for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or to imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or to both.

For second or subsequent offence, the section also provides for a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or to imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or both.

Abang Johari said at the moment, the power to amend this Act is under the federal government.

“I will discuss with the State Attorney General to see whether we could apply other laws such as those under the local authorities.

“Perhaps we can look at these laws because I feel that the current fine of RM5,000 is insufficient,” he said.

He also urged community leaders to play a role in maintaining security in their respective areas so as to prevent theft or vandalism from going rampant.

“As community leaders, you must work hard and monitor your respective areas including looking out for thieves.

“If you don’t carry out your responsibilities, then do not regret later on for the rakyat are more important than individuals,” he said.

Abang Johari said utility companies should also be responsible in taking proper care of their assets, especially those located in strategic areas.

“Give residents at villages allowances to look after the utilities or place security officers such as auxiliary police there.

“If you build a fence, build one that is strong. Don’t just use wires to fence up the area,” he advised.

He also called on the people to fight against vandalism activities against public facilities as these have not only caused huge losses to the government but affected people’s lives as well.

“If you see strange activities or people stealing, catch them or report to the police because Sarawak is vast and we need the cooperation from all levels of society to maintain security in the respective areas,” he said.

Also present were Utility and Telecommunication Minister Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Liwan Lagang, Deputy Natural Resources and Urban Development Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh, Deputy Infrastructure and Port Development Minister Datuk Aidel Lariwoo, Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Corporate Affairs, Information and Ukas) Datuk Abdullah Saidol, Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication permanent secretary Jafri Lias, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mancha Ata, and Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department head SAC Wong Ing Fung.

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