Indonesia Yet to Respond on Haze Issue, Says Nik Nazmi

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Malaysia is still waiting for Indonesia’s response regarding the republic’s efforts to combat the transboundary haze that has affected our country in recent weeks.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said he would immediately follow up on the matter with Indonesia’s environment and forestry minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar.

“We have yet to receive a response (from Indonesia over the matter). However, we have sent a letter directly (to Indonesia’s environment and forestry minister) and also the (Indonesian) embassy (in Malaysia).

“We are closely monitoring the situation (related to air quality readings in Malaysia),” he told reporters after the opening ceremony of the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia 2023 (IGEM 2023) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.

Nik Nazmi was asked to comment if Indonesia had responded to Malaysia’s letter on the ongoing unhealthy weather situation due to transboundary haze from the hotspots in the republic.

Going green: Nik Nazmi (right) and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof testing an electric car after the launch of IGEM 2023. — ART CHEN/The Star

On Wednesday, he said the letter was sent to his Indonesian counterpart with regard to cooperation under the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

The letter was sent in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s statement the day before, in which he requested that Nik Nazmi work with his Asean counterparts to resolve the transboundary haze issue.

On a related matter, Nik Nazmi said five areas – Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan, Bukit Rambai and Bandaraya Melaka in Melaka as well as Batu Pahat and Tangkak in Johor – reported unhealthy air quality readings as of 10am yesterday.

“51 of the 68 Air Pollutant Index (API) stations nationwide registered moderate air quality readings, and the rest reported good API levels,” he said.

Nik Nazmi said the Singapore-based Asean Special Meteorological Centre reported nine hotspots in Sarawak, 16 in Sumatera and 193 in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

“We are closely monitoring this situation. If anyone has any information on open burning, report it to the authorities,” he said.

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