Habitual litterbug convicted for the 8th time in over 10 years

SINGAPORE – A 49-year-old habitual litterbug has been convicted again, this time for throwing a cigarette butt on the ground.

Peh Choe Kong was on May 7 fined $3,600 and sentenced to perform 12 hours of corrective work. If the Singaporean fails to pay the court fine, he would have to serve 10 days behind bars.

In a statement on Tuesday (May 11), the National Environment Agency (NEA) said it is Peh’s eighth conviction in more than 10 years for littering.

NEA enforcement officers spotted Peh throwing a cigarette butt on the ground outside Tampines 1 mall on July 9 last year.

In court, Peh claimed that he had thrown the cigarette butt into a makeshift container placed on the ground and not directly on the ground as witnessed by the enforcement officers.

But the State Courts accepted the prosecution’s case and convicted him.

In arriving at the sentence, the court considered his seven previous convictions for similar offences from 2008 to 2018.

In its statement, NEA said it issued about 19,000 tickets for littering offences last year.

Under the Environmental Public Health Act, any person who commits a littering offence can be fined up to $2,000 for a first offence, $4,000 for a second offence and $10,000 for the third and subsequent convictions.

The court may also impose a corrective work order, which requires offenders to clean public areas for up to 12 hours.

“NEA seeks the support of the community to foster collective responsibility for our environment and cultivate positive social norms,” said the agency.

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