Before Covid – 19, the only time we’ll see people wear mask when they’re out in public is during haze season. Not entirely all that different from our situation now. We can’t breathe and we can’t go out much.
Only difference is that we can see during a pandemic but during haze? Good luck. It’s like the Silent Hill movies.
Luckily, we haven’t experience any haze this year. So far. But earlier this month, The Star reported that the annual haze could make a comeback if Malaysia and our neighbouring countries don’t control open burning.
This statement was made by Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar and he added by saying that the haze would definitely making breathing much more difficult especially those who are tested positive for Covid – 19.
Heaven help us all. We don’t need another haze while still going through a pandemic. So what is being done right now?
As reported by Bernama yesterday, stakeholders from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, plantation experts believe that multilateral actions in handling the pollution are crucial.
Sime Darby Plantation Bhd ( SDP) hosted a webinar where Environment and Water Ministry deputy secretary general (environmental management) Dr Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu said the private sector, communities and non-governmental organisations to talk in an open manner to seek solutions and create more awareness.
But actions are not being taken. Dr Nagulendran even said other countries haven’t even come up with their own solutions for this problem. He even noted that Malaysia had decided not to come up with such kind of solution because it intervened with the sovereignty of other countries. Seriously, why?
Back in the day, countries were working together to put out big fires in neighbouring countries but today, we’re just minding our business and blaming each other for the haze.
Meanwhile, Joko Supriyono, chairman of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association, said the Indonesian fire warnings by land-use region (2015-2019) were coming from beyond the concession areas based on the country’s fire report results.
Whatever the case, face masks has become more vital than ever. If a new wave of Covid – 19 doesn’t bring back MCO, then a terrible haze will definitely make people stay at home.
Southeast Asia countries has been fighting haze for years, especially during the dry weather season, and ongoing attempts have been made to minimise hot spots and open burning.