Jakarta agrees to earlier meeting

This photo shows a general view of Ampang, the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, on a hazy day.

JAKARTA - Indonesia has agreed to a proposal to bring forward the meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution in Kuala Lumpur to July 15-17.

It was originally scheduled for Aug 20-21.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said Indonesian Environment Minister Dr Balthasar Kambuaya had verbally agreed to bring the meeting forward when the two of them met here yesterday.

Palanivel had called on his Indo­nesian counterpart to discuss cooperation to overcome the haze problem.

During the meeting, Palanivel and Dr Balthasar also discussed the ratification of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundry Haze Pollution (CO5) by Indonesia, the only country in ASEAN which has not done so.

It is understood that Indonesia is in the process of ratifying the agreement.

Meanwhile, the air quality in the haze-affected areas of Malaysia continued to improve, with only one place recording an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at the unhealthy level at 3pm.

The Department of Environment said that Nilai, Negri Sembilan had an API of 127, down from the 135 at noon, although it was still in the unhealthy range.

It also reported that 29 other places had an API at the moderate level, down from the 30 at noon.

Some of the places with a moderate-level API were Bukit Rambai (100) in Malacca; Kota Tinggi (75), Larkin Lama (70), Muar (71) and Pasir Gudang (81) in Johor; Port Dickson (76) and Seremban (77); Tanjung Malim (61) in Perak; Kuala Selangor (52), Port Klang (66), Petaling Jaya (79), Shah Alam (70) and Banting (97) in Selangor and Putrajaya (79).

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