KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14, 2015:

Malaysia and Indonesia should set up a joint group to halt the annual burning of forests, said green activist Datuk Seri Ang Lai Soon.

In an email to Bernama, he said this should be done before the annual burning “ritual” could recur next year.

He said the haze had cleared and “disappeared from the headlines”, but was expected again in February next year, as stated by an Indonesian minister who said it was due to deliberate burning.

“This must not ever be allowed to happen,” he said, adding that “crippling fines” should be imposed on culprits if necessary.

Ang said Singapore had been relentless in going after those responsible for the haze and Malaysia should do likewise.

Ang noted that the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last week recognised the need for international action to prevent global warming caused by humans.

At the conference, called COP 21, nearly 200 nations forged a landmark agreement, setting the course for a historic transformation of the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy within decades to arrest global warming.

Ang said Malaysia and other countries in the region should support the Paris Accord and do their part to save the world from catastrophic climate change.

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