PM: We’ll continue to monitor situation closely


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 14 Aug 2005

SHAH ALAM: Despite the improved air quality in the Klang Valley, the Government will continue to monitor the situation closely as the haze may come back. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi noted that the winds had blown the haze, caused by fires in Sumatra, to the northern parts of the country. 

“It has gone to Penang, my state,” he said after visiting the Shah Alam Continuous Air Quality Monitoring Station where he was briefed on how air quality was measured and analysed yesterday. 

Abdullah said the authorities would continue to monitor the situation as there were still several hotspots in Indonesia. 

“What is important is to be alert. With the unpredictable wind patterns and presence of fire, anything can happen,” he said, adding that cloud seeding would continue.  

Abdullah thanked everyone for their efforts in tackling the haze. 

“Many people prayed asking God to save us from the haze that can pose a danger to our health and disrupt the economy and daily activities. 

“I am thankful to God and I thank all those who congregated at mosques, surau, churches and other places of worship to offer their prayers,” he said. 

He said the haze emergency, which was lifted in Port Klang and Kuala Selangor on Friday, would be re-imposed if the Air Pollutant Index rises above 500. 

“There are many implications in declaring a state of emergency and people’s lives are disrupted.  

“But this is to allow us to act on the set directives and procedures to reduce the health risks to the people,” he said. 

Abdullah also said he felt relieved that no Malaysian-owned plantations were involved in the fires in Sumatra. 

On Friday, when he was told that Malaysian firms were among the culprits, he had reacted saying he “feels wretched” that what they had done had affected the country. 

“But now Datuk Peter Chin (Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister) says there are no fires at plantations owned by Malaysians there. Alhamdulillah (Thank God), if that is so,” he said. 

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem told reporters that Indonesia had asked for Malaysia’s help in carrying out cloud seeding to bring rain to areas where the forest fires were raging. 

“We have received a call from the Indonesian Forestry Minister (Malam Sambat Kaban) and we will try to assist. 

“Our officers are going to Jakarta (tomorrow) to discuss how to go about doing cloud seeding,” he said.  

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