PUTRAJAYA, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- The government mulls raising the compound fine imposed on those who committed open burning according to the scale of the activity in a bid to prevent the haze situation in the country from becoming rampant and serious.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said, right now, the compound fine for open burning was fixed at RM2,000 and it seemed inappropriate compared to the scale of the open burning reported.
As such, he ordered the Department of Environment to conduct a detailed study on the matter and to look into more suitable penalties.
He said in the case involving big companies with large profits, Wan Junaidi said it was only right that the compound fine imposed on them be higher than those imposed on individuals committing domestic open burning.
"So, this study is necessary. Although the haze is usually caused by fire in neighbouring country, legal action must be taken to ensure the situation in the country is not made worse," he said after chairing the National Haze Committee meeting here Thursday.
Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said the meeting had decided to set up a committee to conduct a detailed study on the use of the technology on the measurement of the Air Pollutant Index (API), which often caused confusion among government agencies and the public.
He said the standardisation of the haze action plan encompassed the cloud seeding process, advisory on reducing outside activity and directive to close schools and institutions of higher learning.
"The standardisation of the haze action plan will help government agencies to issue accurate information to the public on measures to be taken during haze," he said.
The minister also announced the setting up of another committee to evaluate the losses suffered by various quarters when haze hit the country last year.
He said committee was expected to submit its report to the National Haze Committee in three months time before it was tabled to the Cabinet.