Open burning in Sumatra causing haze, says DOE


  • Nation
  • Friday, 13 Jun 2003

BY WANI MUTHIAH

PUTRAJAYA: The hazy condition in parts of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Perak yesterday was due to open burning by farmers for cultivation purposes in Sumatra, Department of Environment director-general Rosnani Ibrahim said. 

The department was currently in touch with its counterpart in Indonesia, which had said farmers near Pekan Baru in the Riau province were doing the burning. 

“They (Indonesian officials) have informed us that they have asked their people to control the fires which were started on June 10.  

“According to them, there has not been rain in Sumatra for the last five weeks and the visibility there is about 1km,'' Rosnani told a press conference. 

Particles from there were blown to Malaysia by south-westerly monsoon winds. The south-west monsoon is expected to be experienced until the end of August. 

Rosnani said besides the Klang Valley, Manjung in Perak was also covered in haze. 

“No open burning was being carried out anywhere near Manjung, and because of this, we are certain that the haze was caused by the burning in Sumatra.”  

However, she said, several fires in Selangor, especially in Klang, had also contributed to the hazy condition in the surrounding areas. 

She added that the Klang Valley was the worst hit owing to its basin-like contour. 

She also said the country was now experiencing a generally dry spell and urged the public not to do any open burning.  

Those who come across open burning are advised to inform the DOE by calling its hotline at 03-88891972. 

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