LETTER | Water woes: Vigorous enforcement of law urgently required

Ashgar Ali Ali Mohamed


LETTER | The people in Selangor had once again endured with water disruption for several days. 

It seems that this is a recurrent incident and the question arises as to how long the public should suffer from such inconvenience for the acts of some irresponsible individuals. 

What are the measures taken by the relevant authorities to ensure people's safety and wellbeing are not compromised? Why no strict measures implemented to ensure such incidents do not recur? 

Many similar questions are playing in the minds of the general public. 

Whilst the laws to curb such irresponsible acts are in place, what is lacking is its vigorous enforcement. 

The legislature may consider reviewing the existing laws by proposing a stiffer punishment, but what is equally important is its enforcement. 

The authorities concerned must ensure that they carry out regular inception of the factories located within the vicinity of the river to ensure that the laws dealing with prevention of environment and river pollution are strictly complied. 

There should be no compromise against any individuals who violate the laws. 

Not only should the offenders be prosecuted and punished, if found guilty, but their business licences could also be revoked besides confiscation of the company assets. 

This would serve as a lesson to the offender not to flout the law and further, the would-be offenders would be reminded that their fate would be the same should they commit such an irresponsible act. 

Undeniably, revoking of business licence and the confiscation of the company’s assets might sound harsh as this would affect the livelihood of the workers in the company. 

It is nevertheless worth mentioning that workers in the organisation have a duty to expose the illegality or wrongdoings of the organisation to the company management. 

If despite the disclosure no action is forthcoming, the relevant authorities under the whistleblowers protection law must be alerted. 

The act of making such disclosure should be applauded as the responsible worker is not serving his self-interest but the larger interest of the company and the livelihood of others in the company. 

Aside from the above, possible disciplinary action may be considered against the officers in the enforcement departments for failure to discharge the entrusted duties diligently. This is apart from initiating an investigation if any illegal gratification has been taken to protect the wrongdoers. 

It is reiterated that the laws must be vigorously enforced and there should be no compromise against the wrongdoers. 

It is hoped that the recent water disruption incident should be viewed seriously and the relevant government agencies must discharge their duties without fear or favour and to bring to book those who flouted the law. 

ASHGAR ALI ALI MOHAMED is a law professor at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.