Haze situation worsens slightly in Malaysia

PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KUALA LUMPUR - The haze situation in 52 areas nationwide has worsened slightly.

The number of areas with good air quality went down from 14 as at 5pm on Saturday to 12 at 5pm yesterday while the areas recording moderate air quality increased from 38 to 40.

Meanwhile, former Cabinet mi­­nister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said there was a need to count the losses Malaysia suffered due to the haze as it would come in handy if the autho­rities decided to go after the culprits.

She said ministries and federal authorities should work out a detailed bill on the damage in terms of productivity losses and opportunity costs due to the choking smoke from Indonesian fires.

"Certainly, the haze will be an annual nuisance, but the economic and social costs must be calculated and those who are responsible for the environmental hazard should be made accountable," she stated on her Facebook page yesterday.

Rafidah said it would be good for authorities to also determine how the ringgit depreciation and other related issues had impacted the Malaysian economy.

She said while some sectors were benefiting from a weaker ringgit, import dependent sectors were getting hit.

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