Tougher punishments for forest arsons

THE discovery of a lit PVC pipe near the Tutong forest fire as reported in the Borneo Bulletin on April 15 is no surprise.

Bush fires have been happening all over the country for the past weeks or so.

I believe that these fires were started by some irresponsible parties.

The effects of the arsons not only destroy natural habitats but also cause health issues in the country.

The populace had to inhale the polluted air that can cause long term effects.

It could even be more damaging than passive smoking.

Those with asthma and other respiratory problems are the worst affected.

Imagine the cost on the government and our own pockets to treat these health problems.

The costs to the government and public sector would also be higher with the number of days employees stay away from the office on medical leave.

I myself spent a significant amount to see doctors as I was exposed to smoke-filled air.

I will never forgive the perpetrators for the sufferings I had gone through because of their irresponsible acts.

We are faced with bush fires in our country annually.

Perhaps introducing a more serious penalty for arson that can cause bush fire is timely.

The perpetrators must face consequences for their doings.

Though we know it is not easy to catch them but to have the right legislation is a good start.

The enforcement can come later with support from all walk of lives in Brunei Darussalam.

I hope the authorities will seriously look into this proposal and initiate action as a matter of urgency.

– Awang Tuah