It’s not rocket science.. our air quality now is reaaaally bad. Windows are closed and people who used to smoke in their cars are now conscious of how bad the air is outside.
Everywhere you look, there are people with masks on. Yeah, it’s bad but who would’ve thought that Malaysia has the worst haze in the world right now!
On Wednesday at 6:20pm, World Air Quality Index (WAQI), recorded Malaysia with an average API reading of 266 – the highest in the world…
…followed by South Africa at 217, Indonesia at 207 and China at 178. Meanwhile, Singapore recorded an API reading of 102, and Thailand at 134.
Since 11am today, most states record API readings just below “very unhealthy” levels, according to APIM (Air Pollutant Index of Malaysia).
However, Sarawak still records API readings above 200 in Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu and Mukah.
39 locations in Johor, Melaka, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Terengganu and Klang Valley record “unhealthy” API readings.
Malaysiakini reported that more than 2,400 schools have been closed for two days due to the haze. Meanwhile, the Higher Education Department has called for all lectures at higher institutions to be postponed if the air quality is deemed unsafe.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department has also issued a National Haze Action Plan.
The plan outlines actions that should be taken with recorded API readings by government agencies and relevant parties in relation to the air quality.
With the haze situation getting out of control, many are blaming our neighbour Indonesia for not enforcing restrictions on the slash-and-burn method used by palm oil estates. FYI, a few Malaysian palm oil companies operating out of Indonesia have also been named as culprits. As our local government ponders the possibility of punishing these irresponsible Malaysian companies, a blame game is ongoing between Indonesian and Malaysian officials to pin the cause of the haze on each other while citizens of both countries continue suffer.
Admittedly, there have been smear campaigns from the West in the past that demonised the palm oil industry. While we’re not saying that it is the most ethical of industries (which ones are?) if Malaysia and Indonesia want to carrying on with palm oil as their major export, the least both countries could do is to ensure that proper methods are used for cultivation. Otherwise, it’s our own blood on our hands.
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