Malaysians are suffering the effects of forest fires in Indonesia — again.
Despite the Indonesian Government promising, year in year out, to prevent forest fires, it continues to happen and the Malaysian Government seems unable to do anything about it.
Yesterday, the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading in Tanjung Malim, Perak, reached the unhealthy level of 121.
API readings in the Klang Valley showed that Cheras had the highest reading at 97, followed by Batu Muda (96), Shah Alam (93), and Petaling Jaya and Putrajaya at 91.
API readings of between 0-50 are considered good, moderate (51-100), unhealthy (101-200), very unhealthy (201-300) and hazardous (exceeding 301).
Residents in the Klang Valley, experiencing bad haze, have questioned the official moderate API readings on the Department of Environment’s website, according to a report in The Star.
Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed concern about the haze situation and promised to take the necessary action, The Star reported.
He wrote on Facebook: “Looks like the haze has come back outside my office, and several other areas too. If your area is affected, take care of your health, especially the children and senior citizens.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Singapore’s air pollution index stood at “very unhealthy levels” on Friday.
A report in the Jakarta Globe said haze blanketed various parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia over the weekend.
Forest fires in Riau spread smoke across a large part of Sumatra, it said.
The Jakarta Globe reported the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency(BNPB) as saying that the handling of this year’s peatland and forest fires was much better compared with that last year.
BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho was quoted as saying hotspots detected on Monday stood at 138 points, with 60 per cent of them in the Riau region.
Fires were also reported in North Sumatra’s Samosir district.