Malaysia should convene emergency meeting of Environment Ministers of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia to deal with haze emergency choking three nations
Malaysia should convene an emergency meeting of the Environment Ministers of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia for urgent common ASEAN action to deal with the haze emergency choking the three nations.
The haze condition in Johore state in general and in Johor Baru in particular continues to be in hazardous condition with the air pollutant index (API) readings in Kota Tinggi and Pasir Gudang reaching 314 and 323 at 11 am respectively.
Malaysians can still remember they were told that the government would declare a state of emergency once the API reached 301, but there seems to be a singular lack of seriousness whether by the National Disaster Relief Management Committee or the Ministry of Environment with the current haze emergency although hundreds of schools in Johore have been closed in the past few days because of the haze emergency.
Who should be the Malaysian “czar” in the war against haze in the current environmental disaster – the new Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the National Disaster Relief Management Committee or the Environment Minister? Is it Datuk Shahidan Kassim or Datuk Seri G. Palanivel?
Nobody knows, as there has been deafening silence from both the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the National Disaster Relief Management Committee and the Environment Minister, as if the haze emergency currently choking the people of Johore is the least of their problems!
The time has come for both these Ministers to break their silence, not only to inform Malaysians what contingency plans they have to deal with the deteriorating air quality particularly in Johore, but what common action they propose to take with the Indonesian and Singapore governments to control and end the peat and forest fires in the Riau district of central Sumatra, including exposing the identity of errant companies which originate from Malaysia responsible for the slash-and-burn fires for the sake of quick profits at the expense of the health and environment of citizens in three countries.