PETALING JAYA: The air quality was mostly “unhealthy” in the Klang Valley this afternoon as haze continued to blanket several areas in the country.
Four areas – Putrajaya; Johan Setia in Klang, Selangor; and Sri Aman, Samarahan and Kuching in Sarawak – continued to experience “very unhealthy” air quality.
Putrajaya recorded an Air Pollutant Index reading of 202 at noon, and Johan Setia showed a reading of 202 at 1pm. Sarawak was the worst hit, with Sri Aman recording an API reading of 220, Samarahan 210 and Kuching 238
An API reading of 0 to 50 indicates good air quality, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy, and 300 and above hazardous.
According to the Department of Environment portal, “unhealthy” API readings were recorded in several areas in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, including Batu Muda (112), Cheras (153), Petaling Jaya (150), Shah Alam (159), Klang (150) and Banting (155).
Kuala Selangor was the only area in Selangor that had moderate air quality at 95.
Elsewhere, Nilai in Negeri Sembilan recorded an API reading of 158, Melaka City 123, Tangkak, Johor 118, Indera Mahkota Kuantan, Pahang, 150 and Kemaman, Terengganu 125.
Malaysia and Indonesia have continued to point fingers at each other for the transboundary haze.
However, Jakarta has rejected Putrajaya’s complaints about smoke drifting from its forest fires across the border, saying fires are also raging in parts of Malaysia and on Malaysian-owned plantations in Indonesia.
Reuters quoted Indonesia’s Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar as saying that her government had sealed off plantations operated by at least 30 companies, where fires had been spotted, and brought criminal charges against four.
Indonesian authorities also said they had sealed off land belonging to subsidiaries of Sime Darby Plantation, IOI Corporation, TDM Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Group.