PUTRAJAYA: To put it mildly, the haze has made Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid one frustrated man.
And to sum it up, during a press conference at his ministry yesterday, Azmi sarcastically remarked how “beautiful” the view was from his 13th floor window.
“Frustration is an understatement,” he said, when asked if the haze that shrouds Malaysia year in and year out frustrated the Government.
He, however, said there was no immediate solution to the problem because the source of the haze was in neighbouring Indonesia.
”It is outside our control. We can only hope the they can overcome their problems; and we will help by sending our firefighters there if they request for it,” he said.
Azmi reiterated this many times and said he was sure that the Indonesians themselves were suffering.
“In fact, I was in Indonesia in June and met the relevant ministers. They told me they had the systems to control the haze. It looks like their system is not effective,” Azmi said.
Azmi added that the situation could not improve further until Indonesia ratified the Asean transboundary haze agreement. As of March this year, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines had yet to ratify the treaty.
The agreement obligates member countries to co-operate in developing and implementing measures to prevent, monitor and mitigate transboundary haze pollution.
“Without this agreement, everything stagnates,” Azmi said.
His advice to Malaysians is to take care of their health and not to go out often.
He said there were some 600 hotspots in Kalimantan and more than 300 in Sumatra yesterday, with the wind blowing the smoke over.
“The attempt to cloud-seed in Sarawak did not work because there were not enough clouds; we need to find a big clump of clouds before this will work.”