Haze issue: Malaysia to sign MoU with Indonesia

Haze issue: Malaysia to sign MoU with Indonesia

8 August 2007

published by thestar.com.my

Malaysia — Malaysia is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesia by the end of this month to overcome the recurring haze problem. 

Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan said this means Malaysia would adopt the Riau province to prevent fires from starting. 

“We have good experiences and we want to share with Riau how to go for zero burning agriculture practices and to make sure that the peat land areas are not dried up,” he said after delivering a keynote address at the Waste Management Conference and Exhibition here. 

Sothinathan said the Government had finalised its decision to go ahead with the MoU, which is a requirement by the Indonesian Government before help could be provided. 

It is understood that Malaysia had presented its proposal to help the province during an Asean sub-regional ministerial steering committee meeting on trans-boundary haze pollution on June 20. 

Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid had last month said the MoU draft had been submitted to the Attorney-General. 

Earlier Sothinathan said the Department of Environment had forecasted the weather to be dry the next two to three days in the northern region of the peninsula. 

To ensure there would be no open burning, which would worsen the air quality, the department would increase air surveillance and patrol with the help of Rela and civil defence in fire prone areas such as Johan Setia in Selangor, he said. 

Sothinathan also said the inter-monsoon season would start in mid-October and there would be constant changes in wind directions and there would also be thunderstorms and rain in the evening. 

“The DOE has stepped up measures and preparations such as activating the Open Burning Prevention Plan in all states to increase enforcement of action against open burning and excessive smoke emissions from vehicles and factories,” he said.

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