KUCHING, 12 Nov 2008: Metal thieves caused a RM3.5 million dent on Sarawak’s coffers in the first ten months of the year.
The police investigated 247 cases of metal thefts under Section 379 of the Penal Code between January and October, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan today.
He said the total loss for the period under review was RM3,551,681.
The deputy chief minister said that of the 131 arrests, 69 people were charged in court, adding that 22 people were eventually sentenced.
Chan, who is also industrial development minister, was speaking in his winding-up speech in the State Legislative Assembly here.
To effectively tackle metal theft, he said the state government requested the extension of the Second-hand Dealers Act 1946 from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak, which has been agreed upon by the home affairs ministry on 9 Sept.
“The extension of the act is now currently being finalised by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
“With the extension of this act, it will provide the police with more power to act on errant second-hand dealers, including scrap metal dealers, who flout the law,” he said. — Bernama