Hot, dry and hazy weather ahead

Several areas in peninsular Malaysia currently experiencing poor air quality

PETALING JAYA: The nation should brace for more hazy days ahead as the weather will become hotter and drier in the coming months, says Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

“We expect to see more haze particularly during the current monsoon transition period that will last till August.

“The conditions during this transition period are usually hot and much drier, which could result in more hotspots,” he told The Star when contacted yesterday.

ALSO READ: Many people choosing to stay indoors just to be safe

He acknowledged that there were several areas in Peninsular Malaysia currently experiencing poor air quality.

“This does not include other areas where their air quality is gradually worsening,” he said.

Besides the hot and drier weather during the monsoon transition period, resumption of economic activities after the Covid-19 pandemic was also contributing to the haze, said Nik Nazmi.

ALSO READ: Coming down hard on offenders

“We were spared the haze for the past two or three years as there was a slowdown in economic activities due to the pandemic.

“But the economy is now fully reopened and at full capacity again. As such, we expect the haze to return,” he said.

Nik Nazmi said the government had anticipated the possibility of the haze returning.

Photos: CHAN TAK KONG/The Star, BernamaPhotos: CHAN TAK KONG/The Star, Bernama

ALSO READ: Rains may soften northern heat and haze

“Malaysia is not the only country experiencing hot and dry weather. Several other countries in the region are also experiencing it.

“We have in fact already planned ahead and will hold a multi-agency meeting in the next few days to discuss the possibility of drier conditions and haze affecting the country.”

He said several ministries headed by a special task force would be roped in to tackle the issue.

ALSO READ: No open burning please, pleads Bomba

Among them are the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), Health Ministry, Environment Department (DOE), Fire and Rescue Services Department, and the Irrigation and Drainage Department, he added.

Nik Nazmi said the emphasis would be on illegal opening burning carried out by the private sector.

This, he said, was needed especially to prevent peat soil fires.

Citing the fire in Kampung Beoh, Bachok, Kelantan as an example, he said drier conditions could ignite fires that would lead to haze.

Asked about the reasons behind the current hazy condition in the country, Nik Nazmi said the DOE was looking into the matter.

He said the possible effects of El Nino on the region would also be closely monitored to determine its impact on Malaysia in the coming months.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Kesedar continues to drive inclusive rural development, says GM
Melaka partners with travel agencies in the Philippines to attract 120,000 tourists next year
Industry players, experts convene at Hawana forum to discuss future of media
APM chief: Awang Askandar planned to set up 'Extreme Squad' to help disaster-hit nations
Bornean bearded pigs on the road to recovery
Retiree loses more than RM800,000 to phone scam
Mohd Isa back in Umno, pledges to help unity govt in state polls
Police autism centre wants to help to fight stigma
Message of peace and unity
MB on a mission to resolve Johor-S’pore traffic jam

Others Also Read