Better be careful while you’re on the road, peeps! You don’t want to do any damage to public roads in Malaysia because you could be slapped with a very hefty fine if you do so!
A report by Bernama states that the Dewan Rakyat had recently passed amendments to the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 on October 16, which will increase the punishment for anyone who ruins public roads and this is not limited to streets that belong to local authorities.
Under Section 39 of the same act, the minimum fine has been increased a hundredfold from RM1,000 to RM100,000 for properties belonging to local authorities, which include streets, footways, verandah ways, works and roads. This means that potholes, cracks and other similar damages are included as well.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said, “The Ministry had a meeting of the National Council for Local Government which was attended by the relevant State Executive Councillors and they agreed to adopt this amendment with regard to their respective local authorities. I think that with their agreement at the meeting, they will gazette the Act in the respective State and local authorities under which come the JKR, rural and state roads.”
Besides, she also said that they will be increasing the minimum fine of RM500 to RM50,000 if they violated the regulations and took up pavement space without getting prior written permission of the local or other lawful authorities. The punishment for these damages will be carried out even if it is not done intentionally.
Under these amendments, local authorities such as city councils, town councils and rural boards can charge someone to rectify or bear the cost of repair for any damage or changes done to public roads. However, these fines will only be applicable to developers and public utility companies and the final amount will be set by the courts.
Hopefully, this will lessen the number of potholes on the roads and make it safer for us to drive!
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