PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's effort to fight haze will become more difficult if Indonesia does not fully enforce the ban on open burning in the country.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said open burning was still happening in Riau and Sumatra, Indonesia.
He said the Indonesian government was still allowing open burning at areas less than two hectares.
"I hope the Indonesian authorities will review the law and if possible abolish it for the benefit of the regional countries.
"Indonesian government must act decisively otherwise, any efforts by Malaysia will not help prevent haze from recurring," he told Bernama when contacted here today.
Wan Junaidi was commenting on the state of emergency being declared in several provinces in Indonesia due to the haze caused by burning of forests and peat land.
He said the state of emergency would not help much as it was just on an ad hoc basis.
However, he said the declaration would enable the country to deploy police and soldiers to fight the fire immediately.
"Malaysia is ready to assist Indonesia to fight forest fires," he said.
On Aug 21, Minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said Malaysia was prepared to deploy its Bombardier aircraft to Indonesia, to help put out the forest fires that had been responsible for the transboundary haze.
Last year, Malaysia also sent the aircraft to help put out the forest fires. — Bernama