Penang: Burning of padi straw to blame for haze

Penang: Burning of padi straw to blame for haze

13 February 2009

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Malaysia — The burning of padi straw in Seberang Prai have contributed to the haze in Penang, said state Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow.

He said in a statement that the burning was expected to continue until the end of the month.

He advised the public to refrain from carrying out open burning to prevent the haze from worsening.

The Air Pollutant Index (API) readings improved on the island and Seberang Prai yesterday with winds blowing south-east.

The readings were all at the moderate level of 53 at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), 57 in Prai and 71 in Seberang Jaya at 11am yesterday.

It was 62 at USM, 59 in Prai and 72 in Seberang Jaya at the same time on Wed­nesday.

However, the API readings at 5pm for all three places dropped slightly to 51, 52 and 65 respectively. The API for unhealthy air quality is 101 to 200.

Meanwhile, the Consumers Association of Penang has asked the Government to investigate if the haze in Penang is caused by the burning activities of Malaysian-based plantation companies in Sumatra.

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