KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 (Bernama) -- The prevailing haze in Malaysia is due to a combination of haze drifting in from Indonesia and local causes, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Natural Resources and Environment minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas said the haze drifting into Peninsular Malaysia from forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan has been causing the phenomenon in Klang Valley since mid-June.
"Whereas local causes were due to open burning, peat fires, vehicles and industries emissions," he said while wrapping up the Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2012 debate.
As of yesterday, the Department of Environment (DOE) reported improved air quality throughout the country with only the vicinity of Industrial Training Institute in Miri, Sarawak recording an Air Pollutant Index of 158.
Douglas explained that the government had engaged Indonesia and the sub-Asean region to cooperate in the prevention of land and forest fires which has resulted in a more manageable situation compared to 1997 and 2005.
Locally, the government has implemented the Prevention of Open Burning and Management of Peat Fires as part of the DOE's Clean Air Action Plan which also included the construction of check dams, tube wells and watch towers, he added.
"So far, 105 check dams, 20 tube wells and three watch towers have been built in peat land in Pahang, Johor, Selangor, Kelantan, Sarawak and Sabah," he said.