Friday, March 14, 2014

The Haze Cloaks KL

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It has been a couple of weeks now and Malaysians are suffering from declining air quality. And it doesn't seem to get better.

The Meteorological Department’s Director-general Che Gayah Ismail blamed it on dry weather coupled with open burning, forest burning, peat fires, emissions from vehicles and smoke from industries. It is good to know but what are we doing about it?

In any case, the haze is making a return visit and it came back with a vengeance. And this time we cannot blame the Indonesians because it’s our fault!

We are the cause of the thick blanket of haze that hangs oppressively over many parts of the country. Don't we have the Department of Environment? Don't they have a job to do?

On Wednesday alone, there were more than 600 open burning spots recorded nationwide. Today, in Selangor, the state education department ordered 131 schools in Klang to be closed as the Air Pollution Index for the district breached 200 yesterday.

When air quality is bad, we are all affected, healthwise. The particles in the air are mostly made up of carbon compounds and sooty material and there will be nasty acrid gases in the smoke. This gives rise to problems with breathing, wheezing, coughing and watery eyes.

The best advice to give ourselves is to stay indoors when possible, and limit unnecessary physical activity to reduce breathing in dirty air. And we should drink lots of liquids.

May I suggest you try coconut shake? It does help. Honest!

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Yesterday, I was the General Evaluator for the Joint OCBC-Telekom Malaysia Toastmasters meeting at Level 3, Menara OCBC in KL’s Jalan Tun Perak. A good meeting overall – except that they started six minutes late. Other than that, I really enjoyed the meeting. I would give it a score of a 4.5 over 10. Hopefully, the next time, they can keep to  time.


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