Govt mulls legal action against companies involved in illegal land clearing

Malaysia continues to struggle with the haze which has enveloped many areas in thick smog.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government says it is considering taking companies involved in illegal land clearing to court, as Malaysia continues to grapple with the haze which has seen many areas enveloped in smog.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong, who comes from Sabah, said he is also looking at ways to take action against palm oil companies involved in slash and burn farming, adding that “the other side of Borneo is burning like mad”.

He said Malaysia would not take any country to court over the matter as the haze had arrived due to wind patterns.

“But we need to find a solution,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here today.

“The haze comes from neighbouring countries. We (need to) educate them and find them an alternative process so that they do not conduct open burning.”

Many parts of the country continue to record unhealthy air pollution index (API) levels, with Johan Setia in Selangor reaching 213 this morning.

Three schools in the area were forced to close as the API reading had exceeded 200.

An API reading of 0-50 shows good air quality; 51-100, moderate; 101-200, unhealthy; 201-300, very unhealthy and over 300, hazardous.