Kuantan Man Uses Paper To Hide Face After Being Found Guilty Of Felling A Protected Tree

Oh, the irony!

Cover image via Sinar Harian , Malaysia Gazette , Asrol Awang/New Straits Times

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A businessman in Pahang, who admitted to paying men to cut down a protected tree in front of his shop, was seen using a paper sheet to cover his face at the Kuantan court complex yesterday, 4 July

Photographs published by multiple news outlets captured Liau Hai Keong, 55, covering his face during the proceedings.

Image via Sinar Harian

Oh, the irony!

What happened exactly?

On 21 April 2024, Liau commissioned a group of men to remove a yellow flame tree, over fifty years old, which obstructed his kitchen decoration shop in Bandar Indera Mahkota.

The unauthorised felling was recorded and shared on Facebook, prompting the Kuantan City Council to take action against Liau as he had not obtained the necessary approval.

The council, responsible for maintaining the peltophorum pterocarpum tree, argued it was a heritage tree and had incurred significant costs to preserve it.

The removal, situated along a major road, was deemed unsightly by local residents.

Liau was charged under Section 35H of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, which carries a maximum fine of RM10,000, up to three months' imprisonment, or both.

Following mitigation, Magistrate Wahidah Zainal Abidin ordered the father-of-four to pay a fine of RM4,000 in default of two months in jail. He paid the fine, reported the New Straits Times.

Screenshot from the Facebook video, showing a group of men felling the protected tree.

Image via Sin Chew Daily

Liau's counsel Mohd Shuhairi Ziqrul Sapi told the court that his client had repented and will be careful with his actions in the future

Image via Sin Chew Daily

Speaking of trees, did you know that hopea subalatea is a rare tree species that only exists in Malaysia?

Meanwhile, if you're wondering whether insurance protects your vehicle from damage caused by falling trees due to foul weather, read this:

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