MALAYSIA - WITH air pollution in parts of the region hitting alarming levels, Malaysia has proposed bringing forward to next week a five-nation ministerial meeting on the haze.
Singapore said it backed the call for an earlier meeting - formally known as the 15th Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee (MSC) on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
Malaysian Natural Resources and Environment Minister G. Palanivel said on Monday he was waiting for a formal response from Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei.
If they agree to an earlier meeting, it could be convened in Kuala Lumpur as early as Tuesday instead of Aug 20-21, he said.
In an e-mail response to The Straits Times, a spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources said: "Singapore supports Malaysia's proposal to bring forward the MSC meeting.
"Our top-most concern is how member countries can address the current crisis effectively and expediently, and to decide on approaches and put in place measures to prevent a recurrence."
The haze - a phenomenon that affects the region annually - has caused record levels of pollution in Singapore and parts of Malaysia and Indonesia since it returned this month.
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