Malaysia — Fires atKampung Johan Setia, where they often start during dry spells, have flared upagain and are shrouding surrounding areas in thick acrid smoke.
It is a perpetual hide-and-seek game with the culprits, said SelangorEnvironment Department director Che Asmah Ibrahim.
The fires are usually started by illegal immigrants trespassing on theland. When our enforcement officers chase them, they run into the swampy peatland and are difficult to catch, she said.
The laws do allow us to go after the landowners. However, that is anotherarea of difficulty as the boundaries are not clear, Che Asmah said in aninterview.
On anti-open-burning surveillance, she said the departments enforcementteams were activated on Monday in fire-prone areas in Sepang, Klang, PetalingJaya, Gombak, Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor, and were also keeping watch onpeat lands within 1km radius of the KL International Airport and constructionsites in Kajang.