KUALA LUMPUR: Wind directions have changed from south-westerly to south-easterly yesterday, causing unhealthy air quality to move to the southern states in the peninsula.
Seven locations in Johor, Negri Sembilan and Malacca suffered unhealthy air quality while areas such as Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur in the Klang Valley and Sabah and Sarawak reported moderate levels.
A Meteorological Services Department officer said the inter-monsoon season started a few days ago, bringing with it scattered rain and isolated thunderstorms in the early morning and late afternoons for the peninsula’s west coast.
“Because of the inter-monsoon season, we can expect wind directions to change after a few days. Heavy rain is expected at end of this month which is the start of the wet season (north-east monsoon).”
Over the past few days, the Klang Valley has been experiencing heavy rain in the late afternoons and there was also scattered rain in Johor yesterday.
Satellite pictures showed 191 hotspots in Sumatra and 197 in Kalimantan.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia had expressed frustration at the failure of Asean to resolve the problem that is affecting the region.
He said last week’s Asean Sub-Ministerial Meeting on Trans-Boundary Haze Pollution in Pekan Baru, Indonesia, was a good start “but actions to overcome the problem are yet to be seen”.
“We would like to see a concrete solution. Otherwise, it will be just beautiful statements and resolutions. We are still far away from finding a solution,” he told reporters after visiting the South-East Asia Counter Terrorism Regional Centre here yesterday.
He said Asean countries needed to work together and contribute funds to tackle the haze.
“Everyone suffered from the haze. This has been brought up several times for a number of years. This year, the haze reached a difficult level, affecting many countries,” he added.
He said Malaysia had proposed the setting up of a fund to control the haze and to share expertise to overcome the problem.
“We know that we need to work together. We need to have a fund where everybody contributes because we are all affected by the problem. It will be more effective that way.”
He added that dousing forest fires was as important as tackling open burning.