NEA to take another trade fair operator to court

Signage outside Kovan City. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Signage outside Kovan City. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is taking the operator of an unlicensed trade fair to court, a day after the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) was found guilty of holding a Chinese New Year event without a permit.

Colorzon Events and Design had gone ahead to organise a fair at Kovan City, which started last Monday, without applying for the required permit, an NEA spokesman told The Sunday Times.

The events company had also ignored warnings given last Tuesday and Wednesday for it to stop the fair that has gone on in the Aljunied GRC location.

Since it failed to do so, the NEA "will be proceeding with enforcement action against the operator for the offence of operating a fair without permit from the Director-General of Public Health", the spokesman added.

The operator will also have to attend court "in due course", he said.

Colorzon could not be reached for comment by press time.

Under the Environmental Public Health Act, all operators of trade fairs must get a permit from the NEA, to ensure they can meet concerns over issues like food hygiene, safety and noise control.

If found guilty, Colorzon could be fined up to $10,000, under new laws that kicked in on April 1.

The maximum fine - previously $1,000 - was raised following recent amendments to the law to stiffen penalties for various offences.

On Friday, the Workers' Party-run AHPETC was found guilty of organising a Chinese New Year fair without a permit.

The fair took place from Jan 9 to 30 at Hougang Central, before the tougher penalties took effect.

Sentencing has been set for Dec 24.

The NEA said that since 2011, it has taken action against the operators of 16 unlicensed fairs held in Tampines, Toa Payoh, Simei, Clementi, Kovan City, Bukit Merah, Kampong Glam, Chinatown, Serangoon North, Rivervale Walk and Tanglin Halt.

yuenc@sph.com.sg