The satirical website was created in 2015 when Malaysia experienced the worst haze ever and it has been revived by an Indonesian user this year.
A satirical website “Thank You Indo For The Clean Air” has been revived to allow Malaysians and Singaporeans to “thank” Indonesia for providing “clean” air every year.
Created in 2015, the website emerged when Malaysia and Singapore experienced the worst haze episode that year.
The 2015 haze shrouded both countries in thick smog, causing schools and businesses to be disrupted across the country due to the badly polluted air.
The Air Pollutant Index (API) readings at the time reached as high as 287 (under the “very unhealthy” category) in Shah Alam according to NST’s 4 October 2015 report. Kuala Lumpur recorded 284 at the time.
The website was also born based on Indonesia’s former vice president, Jusuf Kalla, who remarked that Indonesians need not apologize for causing haze to their neighbouring countries in 2015.
According to The Straits Times, Kalla asked complainants to be grateful for the clean air they enjoyed for the rest of the year.
For 11 months, they enjoyed nice air from Indonesia and they never thanked us. They have suffered because of the haze for one month and they get upset.Indonesia’s former vice president, Jusuf Kalla
Why is the satirical website revived now?
The satirical website has been dormant since 2019, but it was revived this year by an Indonesian user known as Dania Rifki.
With the current worsening haze in both countries, Rifki revived the site under a new domain and updated the page with an image of the Malaysian flag as an invitation to Malaysians to express their gratefulness to Indonesia.
To thank Indonesia for the yearly “clean” air, all you need to do is click on the red button.
At the time of writing, more than 22,475,083 people and counting have thanked Indonesia for their yearly service. #SaluteAndCough
What’s the haze situation in Malaysia today?
As of 6am today (8 October), 15 areas recorded unhealthy API readings. These areas are in the Klang Valley, Perak, Melaka, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, and Pahang.
The highest API reading reached 160 at Bukit Rambai in Melaka, Batu Pahat and Larkin in Johor, and Nilai in Negeri Sembilan.
Batu Muda in Kuala Lumpur recorded an API of 153, while Rompin in Pahang recorded 102.
API readings between 0 to 50 are classed as Good, 51 to 100 under Moderate, 101 to 200 under Unhealthy, 201 to 300 under Very Unhealthy, and 300 and above under Hazardous.
On 5 October, Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad sent a letter to his Indonesian counterpart this week regarding the haze.
We submitted our letter to inform the Indonesian government and urging them to hopefully take action on the matter. We cannot keep going back to having haze as something normal.Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
Letters were also sent to Malaysian-owned plantation companies that operate in Indonesia to ensure they’ve complied with the laws and to stop burning.
Nik Nazmi also called for joint action by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through legislation or agreement to prevent the yearly haze.
He added Malaysia is seriously considering a law similar to Singapore that holds companies liable for air pollution.
However, there are concerns that Malaysia could not prosecute polluters based abroad.
What can you do to keep safe from haze?
Other than staying indoors and limiting outdoor time, citizens can only take precautionary measures to lessen the impact on their health.
Speaking to Malay Mail, occupational health doctor Dr Nurul Rahman Mohamad Zahari advised people to stay hydrated since haze can dry out our respiratory passage.
If they have to spend time outside, it’s recommended to consider wearing masks such as the N95 respirator mask or its equivalent with high filtration efficiency. This is important, especially when the API reading is at unhealthy levels.
If airborne particles are especially concentrated, people might also need to shield their eyes with protective eyewear.