Selangor politician proposes Indonesian farmers carry out burning during rainy season

SHAH ALAM - Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has proposed that Indonesian farmers carry out their burning during the rainy season.

Calling it a short-term compromise, Khalid said this would prevent the air from becoming overly polluted.

"Of course it would be ideal to have zero burning. But the poorer farmers have to do this (burn) to fertilise the land.

"They don't have money to buy fertiliser, unless we want to give it to them," he told reporters after giving out prizes at the Selangor Invitational Golf Tournament on Tuesday.

Khalid said it was not possible to stop the culture of a community over a short period of time.

"Today, we can't tell them to stop burning, but we can tell them to burn only during a particular period.

"Next time, maybe we can progress to stopping burning entirely," he said.

He said burning should not be done in the dry months between June and September.

He added that the compromise was a better option, rather than the Indonesian and Malaysian governments blaming each other but not reaching a resolution.

On a related matter, Khalid advised parents not to send their children to school if the air pollutant index (API) hits 200.

"I've instructed the district offices to monitor the haze. As for the closure of schools, it is under the purview of the Education Ministry," he said.

He added that if there were enough clouds, they would also consider carrying out cloud seeding.

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