SINGAPORE - Last month's experience with the haze was anything but welcome in Singapore, but may well have been a blessing in disguise ahead of the 2015 South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
That is the view of the Singapore Institution of Safety Officers (Siso) president Seet Choh San.
After a break of 22 years, Singapore will host the biennial Games in 2015, and the local organising committee on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Siso to look at all matters pertaining to safety for the event.
Said Seet: "We will never be able to predict what comes around in 2015... but (this year's haze) has gotten Singapore to be prepared as to what to do in this situation.
"So now if the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) is 100 or more everyone knows what to do. With this haze we are even more prepared for 2015."
Singapore was hit with its worst haze last month. On one day, the three-hour PSI average reached a record high of 401, well above the 301 threshold for the air quality to be considered hazardous.
It raised huge concern as the Republic will host the 28th SEA Games in 2015 from June 5 to 16, traditionally the period where the nation is enveloped by the haze, which emanates from the burning of forest land in Sumatra, Indonesia, during the dry spell.
The MOU - the first for the 2015 Games - will go beyond just the management of the haze situation. The two-year agreement will see the development and implementation of risk management plans for Singapore's showpiece sports event of 2015.