Owners at risk of losing their land if they carry out open burning

Owners at risk of losing their land if they carry out open burning

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - Selangor has threatened to confiscate land belonging to people who constantly carry out open burning on their property.

"We also want these people to be prosecuted in court," said the executive councillor in charge of environment, Elizabeth Wong, at a press conference here yesterday.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who was also present, confirmed that plans were underway for the exercise to be initiated.

Khalid and Wong earlier attended the launching of the Malaysia Women Marathon 2014 here, where Wong also revealed that the state was working on plans to compulsorily acquire some land to store water, presumably for its proposed Hybrid Off-River Augmentation System meant to boost the security of water supply.

On open burning, Wong said the state had identified some 2,000 individual owners of small plots of land in the vicinity of Johan Setia, which sees a fair share of open burning every year, and had already drawn-up a name list that also included land belonging to large companies.

Wong also said the Selangor Environment Department had also opened 12 investigation papers on big scale burning with a view of prosecuting the culprits.

"Some of the areas have been repeatedly told not to burn, but they continue. So, the owners will be identified for prosecution, and might even have their land confiscated."

However, Wong said fires in Selangor were currently under control, though some of the fires were located in highly inaccessible areas.

Meanwhile, Khalid said that Selangor valued women and that was why 40 per cent of its exco members were of the fairer sex.

This is the second year that the women's marathon was being held, with twice the number of participants compared to last year.

The Malaysia Women Marathon is one of the five all-women marathon events in the world.

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