Panel meets again over worsening haze condition

Panel meets again over worsening haze condition
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KUALA LUMPUR - The National Haze Committee is reconvening today to discuss further action in view of the worsening haze situation.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this was the third time in three weeks that the committee was meeting.

"I have asked to discuss a few issues for the well-being of the rakyat and to take action in handling transboundary haze," he told reporters after the ministry's monthly assembly here yesterday.

The committee also consists of representatives from the Education Ministry, Health Ministry and National Security Council.

Dr Wan Junaidi said previous discussions had included the Department of Environment's (DOE) Air Pollutant Index system.

"This time around, among the actions to be taken will be the giving out of face masks and awareness campaigns nationwide,'' he said.

According to the DOE, the API reading for southern Sarawak was within the moderate range.

Around noon in Kuching, the API was 51; Samarahan, 59; Sri Aman, 64; Sibu, 55; and Miri, 48.

On a related note, Dr Wan Junaidi said he had yet to fix a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart to further discuss a proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries on transboundary haze.

"The MoU will outline six strategies, including prevention and suppression of forest fires, zero-burning process for jungle clearing and peatland management," he said.

Meanwhile in Petaling Jaya, pharmacies are seeing brisk sales in face masks and medication for respiratory illnesses.

A pharmacist in the bustling SS2 area here said medicine and relief for dust allergies, asthma, blocked nose and cold plus lozenges were flying off the shelves.

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