Malaysia To Forward Proposal On Haze Fund At Asean Ministerial Meeting

Malaysia To Forward Proposal On Haze Fund AtAsean Ministerial Meeting

20 October 2006

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Malaysia — Malaysia will forward a proposal on the setting up of a haze fundand the use of sound mechanisms to tackle the perennial problem in the region atthe Asean Ministerial Meeting on Haze in the Philippines next month.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said he wasasked by the Cabinet to propose both measures at the meeting.

The meeting would ascertain how the fund would be managed and the amount neededto tackle the haze problem, he told reporters after handing out Hari Raya aid tothe needy at a function organised by the Cheras Umno division here today.

“The cost to bring the haze under control is exorbitant because theapplicable method at present involves the use of aircraft for fighting forestfires.

“Therefore, it is only fair that other Asean countries share the cost ofdousing forest fires in Indonesia, which had failed to tackle the problem overthe last few years,” he said.

Azmi said Asean would be meeting every three months to find long-term andshort-term measures to tackle the haze.

The setting up of the fund was mooted by the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk SeriNajib Tun Razak recently.

In 2002, Asean countries agreed to join forces to fight forest and peat soilfires in member states, but Indonesia has yet to ratify the Asean Agreement onTransboundary Haze Pollution to tackle the problem.

On the haze in Malaysia, Azmi said there was nothing much that could be doneexcept for hoping for wind and rain to clear the air.


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