PETALING JAYA: A total of 4,007 cases of open burning have been reported so far this year.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel urged the people not to carry out open burning or allow others to do so on their land or compound.
Of the cases reported, he said 1,282 were on farm lands, 845 in forested areas and 929 were bush fires, while the rest were random open burning (734), construction sites (117), dump sites (69) and industrial areas (31).
During that period, 294 cases were fined and 94 cases were given warning notices.
Other than that, 43 investigation papers on open burning offences were issued for prosecution.
Palanivel said recent satellite images showed six hotspots – three in Sarawak and one each in Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang.
“Due to a layer of thick clouds, the satellites are unable to show the actual number of hotspots,” he said in a statement.
Palanivel said the hot and dry south-west monsoon season was expected to continue until September.
“We should work together and put out small fires or report any open burning to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 or the Malaysian Department of Environment at 1-800-88-2727,” he said.
According to Section 29(A) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, those found guilty of conducting open burning can be fined not more than RM500,000 and jailed up to five years or both.
There were no areas with unhealthy air pollution index readings yesterday.