Singapore is a fine city.
We’ve probably all heard that one too many times, be it from fellow Singaporeans or someone from a different country throwing a jab at us. Fines have regularly been used in Singapore to enforce or discourage certain unpleasant behaviour.
It seems like this fine mentality is not confined to Singapore.
Our neighbours across the Woodlands Causeway are taking a leaf out of Singapore’s laws regarding enforcement of fines, specifically for fines related to littering in public spaces.
Here’s what you need to know about this issue before your next getaway in Johor Bahru.
Stepping up Enforcement for Fines When Littering in Public Places
The Johor authorities are now beefing up their enforcement of litterbugs in Johor Bahru, with plans to have the state government and 16 local councils monitoring and dishing out fines where appropriate.
That’s at least 16 more pairs of eyes on all of you. Not to mention the eyes in the community.
The fine of a maximum of RM500 (~S$155) has been around for quite a while, with enforcement authorities authorised to issue fines against offenders who are caught littering under the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974.
Each city, municipal or district council in Malaysia is also supposedly able to implement its own anti-littering laws, which may go above the RM500 (~S$155) threshold. Subang Jaya for example, has a maximum littering fine of RM1,000 (~S$310).
This tightening of anti-litter enforcement is a nod towards strengthening their Johor Bersih initiative launched last year.
“Johor Bersih” roughly translates to “Clean Johor” and is an initiative which is targeted at making Johor Bahru the “cleanest, happiest and most beautiful state” in Malaysia. There are currently programmes in place to clean Johor Bahru’s rivers and streets.
Understandably, there also has to be buy-in from citizens and visitors alike to make the “Clean Johor” vision a reality.
What You Need to Take Note Of
Although additional enforcement sounds scary, we think there’s not much to fear if you maintain your gracious nature when visiting other countries.
Let’s not give Singaporeans a bad name like this guy who threw rambutan peels out of his car window in Malaysia, as captured in photos and video by Facebook user Zhang Ziyi.
If anything, those crossing over the Causeway into Singapore should have more to fear given the heavier penalties for littering in Singapore.
In Singapore, littering fines are much heavier than in Johor Bahru.
Under the Environmental Public Health Act (EPHA) 1987, a litter-bug caught red-handed faces up to $2,000 in fines for the first court conviction, $4,000 for the second conviction, and $10,000 for the third and subsequent convictions.
There is also the possibility of being issued a Correction Work Order (CWO) to pick up trash in crowded areas such as Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar, where the crowd can gawk and tut at you.
For the sake of the environment (and our “faces”), let’s all throw our trash into the proper bins.
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