JOHOR BARU - A Singaporean director of a used tyre processing factory was charged on Thursday (April 25) with abetting three others to dispose of scheduled waste into Sungai Kim Kim in Johor's Pasir Gudang last month, Malaysia's Bernama news agency reported.
Sim Wei Der, 50, was charged with abetting Singaporean Wang Jin Chao, 34 and Malaysians Yap Yoke Liang, 36, and N. Maridass, 35, to dispose of oil waste and sludge into Sungai Kim Kim on March 7 using a Mitsubishi lorry and a semi-trailer tank.
Sim, who is a non-executive director of the company, allegedly committed the offence near the Sungai Kim Kim bridge-widening project site, Jalan Kota Masai 1, in Pasir Gudang between 12.01am and 1am, Bernama reported.
He pleaded not guilty when the charge was read out to him at a Sessions Court in Johor Baru.
According to the charge sheet, the disposal of the scheduled waste was done without prior approval from the Director-General of Environmental Quality.
Scheduled wastes that are listed under the First Schedule of the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005 possess hazardous characteristics and have the potential to adversely affect the public health and environment.
The charge, under Section 34B (1)(a) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, read together with Section 42 and punishable under Section 34(B)(4) of the same Act, carries a maximum jail term of five years and fine of RM500,000 (S$164,600) upon conviction.
Sim was allowed bail of RM250,000 in two local sureties. He was also ordered to report to the Pasir Gudang Police station on the 15th of every month.
The case will be mentioned again on May 23.
Wang and Yap, who are also directors of the company, and Maridass pleaded not guilty when they were charged in court on March 25 over the dumping of the waste into Sungai Kim Kim.
The toxic chemical dumping case in Pasir Gudang led to more than 3,500 people falling ill and forced 111 schools to close last month, triggering an intensive cleanup of the river and inspections on other sites where chemicals had been illegally stored and dumped.