Malaysia environmental activists complain over pollution

Malaysia environmental activists complain over pollution

15 September 2011

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Malaysia — Some 60 percent of Malaysia is recording moderate pollution due to haze, brought about largely by peat forest fires and land clearing activities in Indonesia.

Malaysians have been advised to stay indoors as much as possible as thick haze envelopes the country, with air quality dropping to unhealthy levels in certain parts of the country.

Visibility has dropped to 2 kilometers in some parts of Malaysia.

Although the government has assured the people that it is looking at solutions to the haze, environmental activists are not amused.

For the first time, Malaysia has registered a protest with Indonesia through a letter as pollution from its forest fires regularly blanket the region.

Environmentalists also point out that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN must also work together to find a durable solution to the haze which occurs regularly.

Malaysia’s ruling party leaders deny accusations of complacency by the government and say that talks are underway with the other ASEAN counterparts to tackle the problem.

Malaysia experienced pollution at highly dangerous levels in 2005.

The Malaysian government would push for the setting-up of a regional task force to tackle haze related fires in ASEAN countries at the ASEAN conference which is scheduled to be held later this month. The task force would focus of quick deployment of fire fighters to countries which may need such assistance.

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