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Jakarta Post

Haze returns to Malaysia despite Indonesia's swift action to combat forest fires


    The Straits Times/ANN

Taiping, Malaysia   /   Fri, August 19, 2016   /  12:52 pm
Haze returns to Malaysia despite Indonesia's swift action to combat forest fires A group of tourists take pictures with the haze-shrouded Putra Mosque (left) and Perdana Putra Building (right) in the background in Putrajaya, Malaysia. (EPA via The Straits Times/-)

Malaysia is seeing a return of the haze despite Indonesia's swift action to combat forest fires.

Some cities in the country have recorded moderate API (air pollutant index) readings in the past week. When asked about it, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the haze season was back.

Wan Junaidi said it had been happening for a week due to the forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan in Indonesia.

But he said things had changed as the Indonesian authorities were taking swift action to combat forest fires but the effects of it were still being felt in the country.

"It hasn't reached critical stage but I will write a letter to Indonesia Forestry and Environment Minister [Siti Nurbaya Bakar] to tell her that the haze is coming here," he said.

"We don't want to pick a fight but we just want to notify them that the haze is back," he told reporters after launching the National Ecosystem Mangrove Conservation Day at the Larut-Matang Mangrove Swamp here.

Earlier last month, Wan Junaidi said Malaysia would not experience a severe trans-boundary haze this year.

He said this was because Indonesia seemed to be doing its part to honor its commitment to keep the annual phenomenon in check.

Wan Junaidi added that the haze would not be so serious this year as Indonesia faced a lot of pressure from Malaysia and Singapore as both nations suffer the most.

He revealed that there were several hotspots in the country but the Environment Department and other agencies had rectified the situation quickly.

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