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PUBLISHED: Jun 25, 2014 5:33pm

Malaysia urges Indonesia to urgently fight Sumatra fires

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Source: Bernama Source:
Bernama

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel says the Singapore-based Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) had reported that the hot spots in Sumatra, Indonesia, had risen to 143 yesterday from 129 on Monday. — TRP file pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 25:

Malaysia has called for immediate action by Indonesia to extinguish and prevent further land and forest fires in Central Sumatra, Indonesia, responsible for the cross border haze.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said this call was made to Indonesia in a letter written by Department of Environment director-general Datuk Halimah Hassan to her counterpart at the Environment Ministry in Indonesia.

“The letter was to express Malaysia’s concern over the increase in the number of hot spots causing the haze in the peninsula since June 22,” he said in a statement today.

He said the Singapore-based Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC) had reported that the hot spots in Sumatra, Indonesia, rose to 143 yesterday from 129 on Monday.

Aside from that, 25 local hot spots have been identified, in Pahang (12), Johor (4), Sarawak (3), Kedah (1), Kelantan (1), Malacca (1), Selangor (1), Perak (1) and Penang (1).

“These hot spots will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken by the authorities,” he said.

As at 9am today, “unhealthy” readings of the air pollutants index (API) were recorded in Putrajaya (112), Banting (108), Port Klang (107), Shah Alam (106), Cheras (106), Nilai (104), Petaling Jaya (103) and Batu Muda (103).

Palanivel said the API deterioration was fanned by the southwest monsoon and expected to persist until September.

According to him, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite images issued by the ASMC yesterday showed moderate haze drifting from burning areas in Riau, Central Sumatra, towards the central region and southwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Palanivel said the ministry, through the Department of Environment, had taken various measures, including banning open burning, since February to offset the impact, compounded by the southwest monsoon and the El Nino dry weather effects.

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