Haze: Malaysia, Singapore want Asean's haze committee meeting to be brought forward

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia and Singapore are proposing to bring forward the sub-regional ministerial steering committee meeting on transboundary haze pollution to from the scheduled Aug 20-21 dates.

"We are proposing it to be held next week or July 2, said Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel on Monday. "We are awaiting response from the other 3 member countries - Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand.

Malaysia has offered to host the meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said Malaysia was expected to convey a strong message to their Indonesian counterparts to find permanent solutions to the end the annual 'man-made' haze problem.

He said that issue related to the haze was discussed by the Cabinet with the Malaysian delegate tasked with raising haze related issues that covers public health concerns.

"The health risks for Malaysians are very high and this was so yesterday when readings was above 750 levels which was very dangerous and worry about health consequences he told reporters this outside Parliament House Monday.

He said that haze-related issues were discussed in the Cabinet with ministers voicing their concern to Natural Resource and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel who will meet his Indonesian counterpart sometime later this week.

He described the annual haze situation as a problem that could be resolved as it was a man made problem.

"If it is natural, it is understandable.

"But they must do something serious about it as it is man made we (Malaysians) should not be subjected to it every year," he said.

However, he said that the Malaysia is hopeful that nations affected by the haze would be able to find a joint solution in the spirit of Asean.