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Nearly 1,500 cases of open burning in Malaysia during haze season

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Senator Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin said there was nearly 1,500 cases of open burning and forest fires in Malaysia during the haze season in August and September this year, the Malay Mail reported today.

The Malay Mail quoting Raja Kamarul in Parliament today said 763 cases of open burning in estates and 670 cases of forest fires were recorded during the period.

Johor had registered the highest with a total of 580 cases. In Johor, there were 428 estate fires and 152 forest fires. This is followed by Selangor with a total of 226 cases with 131 estate fires and 95 forest fires.

Sarawak had 193 total cases with 68 estate fires and 125 forest fires. Sabah saw 179 total cases with 67 estate fires and 112 forest fires.

“This is followed by Perak with 85 total cases with 32 estate fires and 53 forest fires,” he said in his reply to Bukit Bendera (PH) MP Wong Hon Wai during Question Time.

Raja Kamarul mentioned other states include Negri Sembilan with 64 total cases (10 estate fires, 54 forest fires), Pahang with 57 cases (14 estate fires, 43 forest fires) and Terengganu with 20 total cases (2 estate fires, 18 forest fires).

He said taking action against landowners who conduct open burnings is beyond the jurisdiction of the ministry and such matters must be referred to the Environment Department because investigations must be done to identify whether or not the fire was started by the landowner, a private party or natural causes.

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