Man Fined $8,000 for Illegally Disposing of Office Furniture at a Secluded Spot

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Chinese New Year is almost here. You know what that means— it’s time to ‘Marie Kondo’ your homes. Be it that dress you bought on a whim during the last 11/11 sale or a piece of ‘impulse-buy’ office chair from IKEA, they all have to go if you’re looking to huat this year.

But don’t say Goody Feed buey brother — if you’re looking to toss that used chair chucked in the corner of your store room (ahem, bomb shelter) somewhere, think twice.

This week, a man was fined a few thousand dollars for disposing of office furniture in a public place. Here’s what happened.

Man Fined $8,000 for Illegally Disposing of Office Furniture in Public Place

On 23 January, Siow Wei Wen, a supervisor of a moving company, pleaded guilty to one charge under section 20(1)(a) of the Environmental Public Health Act.

Section 20(1)(a) of the Environmental Public Health Act is simi?

TLDR: if you’re faced with a charge under section 20(1)(a) of the Environmental Public Health Act, it probably means you were found to have dumped or disposed of waste in a public place, or caused or permitted the dumping or disposal of waste in a public place lah.

In Siow’s case, he was caught discarding office furniture illegally in a public place. And for that, he had to pay a sibei huat amount for his fine — $8,000.

Think about how many Coldplay concert tickets you could buy with that.

Man Disposed of Office Furniture at a Secluded Spot Along Kheam Hock Road Out of Convenience

At this point, you might think: “Aiya, he just should have disposed of the office furniture in a more ulu place lah.”

Well, surprise — he did, and he got caught anyway.

One year ago, on 30 January 2023, Siow was engaged to transport unwanted furniture from a vacated office at Beach Road to a recycling facility at Sungei Kadut Drive.

For those who stay home all day and have no clue where Beach Road and Sungei Kadut Drive are, the two locations are at opposite ends of Singapore — Beach Road is on the south end of Singapore, while Sungei Kadut Drive is in the North.

If you’re unlucky and get caught in traffic, the drive from Beach Road to Sungei Kadut Drive could take 40 minutes to an hour.

So, perhaps Siow got tired during the drive and decided to stop halfway through to dispose of the office furniture at a secluded spot along Kheam Hock Road instead, approximately a 15 to 20-minute drive from Beach Road.

Here’s where exactly he disposed of it:

Image: NEA

Ulu location, but still kena.

There’s no running away from the National Environment Agency (NEA) lah. By disposing of waste in a public place, you pollute the environment and pose a hazard to public health — of course, NEA isn’t going to take this lightly.

If you’re found to have illegally disposed of waste in a public place, you’re liable on conviction to a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both. Repeat offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one month to a year.

So, if you are clearing your home for the upcoming Chinese New Year, perhaps think twice before tossing that used IKEA chair downstairs lah, hor?

If you see anyone illegally disposing of waste in a public place, you can be a good citizen and submit reports to NEA via the Online Feedback Form or the myENV mobile application, stating information on the date, time and location of the incident, registration number of the vehicle used to carry out the illegal disposal (if any), and supporting photos and videos. You may also contact NEA at 6225 5632.

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