Malaysia — Severalmeasures will be taken with Indonesia to ensure that the trans-boundary hazedoes not occur that would aggravate the expected hot and dry spell in the monthsahead, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
This is critical because this year is also Visit Malaysia 2007. We willcontinue to forge cooperation with Indonesia on this matter, he toldreporters after chairing the Permata Negara committee.
On the home front, the Deputy Prime Minister said checks on open burning mustbe increased and reservoirs monitored for their water levels.
We will also have to advise the public to use water wisely and check onwastage, he added.
Najib said he was confident that state governments would know when to act inthe case of a drought.
Authorities are warning the public to brace themselves for a possible drought.
The country is also on high alert for peat and bushfires, with Muadzam Shahand Tebu Hitam in Pahang, and Batang Berjuntai in Selangor identified aspotential hot spots.
The hot spell that is synonymous with the Chinese New Year period is merely aprecursor to an El Nino-related hot and dry spell.
In Batu Pahat, the Fire and Rescue Department said it was ready to sendfirefighters to neighbouring countries within 12 hours of notification.
Director-general Datuk Hamzah Abu Bakar said its personnel had proventhemselves during the tsunami disaster and fire-fighting missions in Sumatra.
Hamzah said his department relied on the Meteorological Department to monitorhotspots in the country.
All information on hotspots and weather will be directed to us. We aremonitoring a number of areas in the country that usually have forest fires, butcurrently there are no hotspots except in Rompin, Pahang, he said.