Senate approves amendments to Fisheries Act

KUALA LUMPUR, The Fisheries (Amendment) Bill 2019 which aims, among others, to increase the general penalty for offences under the Fisheries Act was approved by the Senate today.

The bill proposed to increase the maximum penalty for an owner or captain of a foreign vessel caught trespassing into Malaysian waters to RM6 million, from RM1 million, and the penalty for every crew member from RM100,000 to RM600,000.

It was passed at a session chaired by Dewan Negara president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran after 19 senators participated in the debate.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said the amendment to increase the fine was apt as the current fine under the Fisheries Act was very low compared with other countries in the region.

The amendment is in line with international instruments … what is important is that we have given a clear signal that we are ready to enforce the fine,” he said in his winding up speech on the bill.

On addressing the problem of cloned boats, Salahuddin said the government, through the Fisheries Department, was stepping up local vessel identification and security by using QR Barcode, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), apart from the strict licensing system using satellite, that is the mobile tracking unit.

Also approved by the Senate today is the Revision of Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019) to authorise the Commissioner of Law Revision under the Revision of Laws Act 1968 to make any changes in any of the written laws.

The bill, which was tabled by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, was proposed following the restructuring of agencies and functions of the ministries, as well as change in the name of ministries.

There is a need to address references to existing laws regarding the posts of ministers that have changed and the functions or responsibilities that have been transferred to other ministers,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)