Haze situation in Malaysia to improve in October: Minister

Haze situation in Malaysia to improve in October: Minister
A man rides his bike as Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers are seen obscured by haze in Kuala Lumpur on August 24, 2015.

PUTRAJAYA - The haze situation in Malaysia is expected to be less intense than previous years, and it should be clear when the monsoon season comes in October.

In the meantime, Malaysians must continue to exercise caution said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who warned that open burning is still illegal.

"The haze situation has seen an improvement since yesterday, but this is still not an assurance that it will continue to reduce. The open burning in Indonesia is still happening.

"Malaysians, be it those in industries or the general public, must know that open burning is still prohibited. Those who are caught will face the law," he said after chairing the National Haze Committee at his ministry here yesterday.

He said the upcoming meeting with his Indonesian counterpart would include the signing of a memorandum of understanding on haze prevention measures.

"What I can reveal is that it will be on preventive measures, on how both countries can co-operate to tackle this endless haze problem," he said, declining to say more.

A ministry statement said that as of Wednesday, the Department of Environment had recorded 3,128 cases of open burning nationwide, which involved forest areas (563 cases), agricultural areas (1,120), industrial areas (19), construction sites (60), landfills (87), bushes (613) and other areas (666).

A total of 211 compound notices were issued.

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