World

Litterbugs, don't mess with Malacca

Public shaming, hefty fines proposed to make city's cleanliness on a par with S'pore

A hall of shame with names and faces on display, hefty fines and making offenders walk round with placards that say "Don't Mess With Malacca" - these are the proposals being drawn up to fight littering in the historic city.

The Malacca Historic City Council (MBMB) is expected to introduce these rules under a by-law to be passed next month, aimed at cleaning up the Unesco World Heritage site, Malaysia's The Star reported.

Besides being publicly shamed, repeat offenders will also face a maximum RM2,000 (S$660) compound fine on the spot.

Under this proposal, organisers of night markets, street parties and concerts will face a maximum fine of RM4,000.

First-time offenders must sign a "pledge" not to mess up the city.

They must sign the official document at the MBMB magistrate's court, provide details of their identity cards or passports and pledge not to litter again.

"Their data will be keyed in. They will face hefty fines if they repeat the offence," said MBMB special officer Mohd Yusof Abu Hassan.

They may also face separate charges for affecting public health, safety and convenience to the public.

Mr Mohd Yusof said the plan for Malacca's cleanliness to be on a par with Singapore's came about after Chief Minister Idris Haron's gave a directive for MBMB to fully enforce its "Don't Mess with Malacca" campaign, which started last year.

"The current compound (fine) of a maximum RM500 has not helped stamp out litterbugs," Mr Mohd Yusof said on Monday.

"We have the blessings of Mayor Datuk Zainal Husin to table the by-law in the next meeting."

He said the blueprint on the new compound rates had been completed.

TOURIST SPOTS

Mr Mohd Yusof said the by-law would cover tourist hot spots, hospitals, places of worship and schools within MBMB's jurisdiction.

The areas include the popular Jonker Walk, Uptown night market and Pahlawan Walk.

He said that after Christmas Eve, places such as Pahlawan Walk, The Stadthuys and Jonker Walk saw piles of rubbish.

He said the council had lost its patience over the littering problem.

"We will no longer be lenient with litterbugs," he said.

However, he said the proposed hall of shame with placards was still under consideration as it could prove controversial.

"We need to consult the state legal adviser first," he said, adding that they intend to place mugshots and details of offenders in public places.

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