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Thursday August 11, 2005
PUTRAJAYA: The Air Pollutant Index confirmed the people’s worst fears that the air in the entire Klang Valley was very unhealthy and in Klang hazardous.
Yesterday, the Cabinet ordered the API readings to be released to the public.
The API readings of affected areas will be issued by the Department of Environment once a day or more if the situation requires it, according to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem.
“The situation is not getting any better; in fact it is expected to get worse. The public needs to know,” he told a room packed with journalists.
Adenan said that while the situation was not expected to clear up in the next few days and several areas had recorded hazardous air quality levels, this did not warrant a declaration of emergency in those areas.
“We will only declare an emergency in the area affected if the API touches 500. We have not reached that stage yet although the air quality in Port Klang has touched 410,” he said.
Adenan revealed that he would be going to Indonesia to meet his counterpart Rachmat Witoelar the soonest possible.
“He has asked for help to put out the fires in Sumatra.”
Adenan said the National Security Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had been informed that Port Klang, Shah Alam and Kuala Selangor had passed the 300 API mark.
“The council will manage the situation in these three areas. I informed Najib of this at 10am today (Wednesday),” he said.
Meanwhile, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin will leave for Indonesia today to find out if Malaysian-owned palm oil plantations there practise open burning.
“We (Chin and Adenan) are going there to represent the Government and carry a message from the Prime Minister,” Chin said, but he declined to elaborate on Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s message.
Chin said his fact-finding mission was necessary because when the haze was an issue in 1997, the Indonesian authorities pointed fingers at palm oil plantations belonging to Malaysians.
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