Public Prosecutor v Chiam Heng Hsien

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeShaiffudin Bin Saruwan
Judgment Date22 December 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGDC 331
Citation[2003] SGDC 331
Published date16 January 2004
Plaintiff CounselDefendant in person
Defendant CounselAbdullah Ghani

1. The defendant faced 2 charges – (i) a charge of creating a condition favourable to the propagation of vectors, namely, mosquitoes, an offence under section 15(1) of the Control of Vectors and Pesticides, Cap 59, and punishable under section 23(b) of the same act; and (ii) a charge of failing to comply with an order issued by the National Environment Agency made pursuant to section 17 of the same Act, and punishable under section 23(a) of the Act.

2. The defendant claimed trial to the 2 charges. After a 2-day trial, I found the defendant guilty of both charges and duly convicted him. He was fined $1,000/- in respect of the first charge and $2,000/- in respect of the second charge.

The Case for the Prosecution

The first charge

3. The prosecution relied on the evidence of two Environmental Health Officers attached to the Central Regional Health Office of the National Environment Agency (NEA) namely, Jeyapalan s/o Mylvaganam (PW1) and Abdul Wahab Bin Jaafar (PW2). PW1’s main duty was to attend to complaints lodged by members of the public in relation to the breeding of vectors such as mosquitoes and rats. PW1 testified that on 21 Feb 2003 at about 10.30 am, he was with PW2 at the defendant’s premises at No. 145 Killiney Road, Singapore. They were there to attend to a complaint of mosquito breeding at the location.

4. The NEA officers then conducted a search of the premises with the consent of the defendant. While the search was conducted, PW1 was with the defendant. Subsequently, they discovered evidence of mosquito breeding in the water that had collected in a plastic cover that was left in the open compound of the defendant’s premises. According to both PW1 and PW2, the defendant was then brought to the place where the plastic cover was located, and shown the mosquito breeding. PW2 then took a sample of the mosquito breeding and placed it into a bottle which he then sealed and marked with the date and location from which the sample was taken. All this was done in the defendant’s presence. PW2 then left the place and send the bottle for analysis at the NEA laboratory.

The second charge

5. The prosecution relied on the evidence of one Tan Kim Hang (PW3), an Environmental Health Officer attached to the Central Regional Health Office of the NEA. PW3’s duty was to issue orders pursuant to section 17 of the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act, Cap 59. He testified that on 17 December 2002, he had served such an order (marked as Exhibit P4) to the defendant as the owner of No. 145, Killiney Road. The said order, namely clauses (1) and (2) required the defendant to (i) dispose of all unwanted water bearing receptacles, (ii) at all times keep all other unwanted water bearing receptacles in a manner that will prevent them from holding water, and (iii) keep all items that can collect rain water under shelter in a manner that will not hold water.

6 PW3 testified that after P4 was issued, he conducted follow-up inspections at the defendant’s premises on the 5th, 14th and 21st March 2003. He testified that on these inspections, he had found a lot of water bearing receptacles such as plastic containers, discarded debris, unused flower pots and discarded iron cabinets placed in the open all over the compound of the defendant’s premises. PW3 had then advised the defendant to remove and clear the items.

7. PW3 then conducted the final follow-up inspection at the same premises on 31 Mar 03 at about 9.20 am. He found that the defendant had...

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