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The Final Project : Haze in Malaysia

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    1. The Final Project : Haze in Malaysia

    2. Haze in Malaysia The Air Pollutant Index this morning(13 March 2014) showed 11 areas registering unhealthy readings in the country. There were more than 600 open burning spots recorded nationwide, which caused air quality in several parts of the country to worsen dramatically. The 11 areas had readings exceeding 100, with Kuala Selangor registering the highest at 155 at 8am. The other areas were: Nilaiin Negeri Sembilan at (143), Port Klang (137), Putrajaya(124), BatuMuda in Kuala Lumpur (112),PetalingJaya (107) Neighbouring countries like Indonesia could not be blamed for the unhealthy air quality in Malaysia, despite the fact that air quality in Riau, Sumatra, had reached hazardous levels in the past two months.

    3. What causes Haze? -Declining air quality on dry weather coupled with open burning -Forest burning- Peat fires-Emission from vehicles and smoke from industries-Illegal slash-and-burn clearances

    4. Effects of Haze Haze is a form of risk as it brings losses to the country. SOCIAL : This led to the closing of hundreds of schools and several local airports, and may have caused respiratory illness in more than 50, 000 people. ECONOMIC: It strained the nation’s income as the country’s economic sector was affected - losses in the current haze situation could be in the millions of ringgit(RM) – especially for tourism, leisure and restaurant businesses and it delayed construction projects. Haze also caused reduced sunshine which could have negative effects on plantations.

    5. POLITIC : -On the enforcement side, the ministers from Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia should commit to work together on the investigation of any crimes that may have been committed. -The neighboring governments can also help Indonesia to unravel complex ownership structures of the companies since many arms-length subsidiaries also seem to be implicated. -Top national and local officials as well as corporate executives and community leaders should also get together to see what practical steps they can take in unison to more quickly address land conflict. -In the immediate term, they can also pool their monitoring and fire-fighting capabilities to be ready to respond much more quickly when dry weather and fire alerts are nearing. -High political commitment followed by political will from central down to local government -Properly enforce laws that ban slash-and-burn clearances. -Properly implement Legislation by ensuring there is sufficient field officers-Government to impose its own legislation much more strongly—’these fires are illegal’, moratorium(suspension of an activity) on new permits for logging primary forest Ways to prevent Haze

    6. SOCIAL :-Limit or avoid smoking indoor and the use of gas stove, wood fireplace, candles, incense and anything that burns and emits smoke. -Avoid driving if visibility is bad.  -wear surgical masks -avoid staying too long in the sun -drink plenty of boiled water when doing outdoor activities -Take your medication regularly if you are suffering from an existing disease, especially heart disease and respiratory disease. -Pay attention to local air quality updates.  -Use an air purifier to keep the particulate levels low. -Under severe haze condition, wear a respirator if you must go outside.

    7. Conclusion Haze is not simply smoke from fire, but an effect of peat firesthousands of miles away. It is an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other dry particles obscure the clarity of the sky. It is a threat as it straines the country’s income and causes a large sum of losses for the country. The people also suffer from haze as it not only limits their vision and daily activities, it also brings alot of harm to them in the form of illnesses. Hence, there are many steps to manage the risk of haze occuring again. It is of utmost importance that every individual is well educated about this matter and should be held accountable and responsible for the well being of the country and its environment; both the private sectors and also the government.