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PM will write to President Jokowi about transboundary haze

JOHOR BAHRU (Sept 12): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will write to Indonesian President Joko Widodo as soon as possible regarding the transboundary haze issue.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said she has spoken to the prime minister regarding this matter.

“He has agreed to write to President Jokowi to bring his attention to this transboundary haze issue,” she told reporters after closing the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Engineering Industry Innovation Day here today.

She said that the government had before this held a meeting with representatives of the Indonesian Embassy Office in Malaysia on the latest status of the haze situation in the country.

“We received good cooperation from the representatives and what Indonesian Environment Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said was maybe because she did not go to asmc.asean.org which is an Asean-recognised website, where the data indicates the presence of transboundary haze or not,” she said, adding that the data did show that the current haze was indeed from Indonesia.

Thus, she hoped that the Indonesian government would add more machines to manage forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatera

“Today, hot spots in Kalimantan have increased further, yesterday was more than 480, today it increased to 1,188 hotspots. In Sumatera, today it is 431 hotspots, while on our side, there are only five hotspots, four in Sabah and Sarawak and one in the peninsular.

“We are ready to extinguish the fires in Malaysia and we hope that Indonesia will take responsibility for the forest fires in their country,” she said.

Meanwhile, Yeo said that cloud seeding operations will be carried out in Sarawak to reduce haze in the state.

“The government and its agencies are ready in Sarawak to see if the cloud situation is suitable for cloud seeding. If it is, then we will start the process as early as today,” she said.

She said cloud seeding was important for Sarawak as the haze has become more severe following the sudden increase of hotspots in Kalimantan today.

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