Friday, September 20, 2019

No Respite from the Haze

The Education Ministry announced yesterday that a total of 2,646 schools are to close today due to the haze situation (Star Online, September 19, 2019). 

Sarawak has the most number of schools at 987, followed by Selangor with 939, Penang with 399, Kuala Lumpur with 296 and Putrajaya with 25 – affecting over 1.7 million students. 

All schools in Perak and Negeri Sembilan, however, will resume classes – following improvements in the Air Pollutant Index readings that had gone down to below 200 in the two states as at 5:00 PM yesterday. 

Malaysia has decreed that the haze that is suffocating us is mainly caused by transboundary haze from Indonesia brought about by forest fires.

The Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency satellites had detected 2,719 hotspots across the country on Thursday. They said 99% of the hotspots were caused by deliberately set fires.

Their police said Thursday that they have arrested 230 people suspected of starting fires. And they had sealed off land owned by at least 49 plantation companies in the past week for investigation after fires were found on their land.

And more than 9,000 people have been deployed to fight the fires, which have razed more than 328,700 hectares of land across Indonesia. Forty-four helicopters had dropped more than 270 million liters of water and 163 tons of salt for cloud seeding as part of the firefighting efforts. 

Clearly, this is not enough. We’re talking of haze that has the habit of visiting us every year without fail!

And there is no respite. We are at the mercy of the haze!

Malaysians need to send a clear message to our own government. We must stop accepting this situation and instead register our protest in the loudest way possible!

Greta Thunberg is a climate warrior and she has been described as one of the great truth-tellers of this or any time. 

Give a listen to the September 12, 2019 interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – where she continues to inspire us to take a stand against Climate Change:
As the Swedish teen rightly puts it: “What we should do as individuals is to use the power of democracy to make our voices heard and to make sure that the people in power cannot continue to ignore this".

On Wednesday, Thunberg (left) delivered a strong message to members of Congress in the US: "wake up".

As she said: "I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists".

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