THE prolonged haze season continued to shroud the Malaysian peninsula on Sunday, forcing schools to be closed and a Marathon race was canceled for health concern.
It has become a source of regional tension, but Indonesian President Joko Widodo told the BBC it was “not a problem that you can solve quickly”.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Sunday he hoped Indonesia could discuss long term measures to tackle the crisis.
The country’s air pollutant index in these areas ranges from 201 to 300, according to data from the department’s website.
Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid has announced the closure Monday and Tuesday of all schools nationwide, except for the northwestern state of Kelantan and Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan on eastern Borneo island.
At least five areas in Malaysia on Sunday recorded “very unhealthy” levels of air pollution, with one reporting “hazardous” levels.
Hazy conditions continue to affect Singapore with PSI readings staying within the unhealthy range. Readings of between zero and 50 indicate good air quality, while those between 51 and 100 are moderate.
Indonesia, however, was not as fortunate.
A total of 11 hotspots were detected in Sumatra on Thursday.
“As such, we are prepared to help if the situation warrants, but it depends on the government itself because it will decide whether to send the fire personnel to join the mission to put out the forest fire in Indonesia”, he said when contacted by Bernama, here today.
Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency said the lack of clouds above South Sumatra meant cloud-seeding operations would not have any impact, “but several water-bombing helicopters will be shifted to Ogan Komering Ilir and Musi Banyuasin”. PSI levels in its capital Palangkaraya peaked at 1,949 yesterday morning.
“The haze that is happening is beyond our control”.