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Haze will not have major impact on Malaysian economy

The presence of haze is unlikely to have any major impact on Malaysia`s economy as it is confined to only a…

The presence of haze is unlikely to have any major impact on Malaysia`s economy as it is confined to only a few localised areas like the Klang valley, said minister in the Prime Minister Department, Mustapa Mohamed.

If it happens for a short period, we will be able to manage it, he said after presenting the Excellence Award to 164 staff of the Statistics Department here Friday.

He said the rain last night had slightly improved the situation Friday and we are hoping for more rain to come.

Of course, he agreed that if the haze continued to stay for a long period, there would be reasons to be worried as it could impact on the health aspects, tourism sector, ports and airports.

But at the moment, it is manageable, he said.

Mustapa was asked on the haze situation currently blanketing certain parts of peninsular Malaysia.

Haze emergency was declared indefinitely for the entire Kuala Selangor and Port Klang areas with immediate effect yesterday after the Air Pollutant Index (API) for the two areas breached the 500-mark level.

The hail emergency does not entail curfew and the Selangor government will continue to monitor the two places.

Schools in areas which breached the API hazardous 300-mark level were told to close.

A total of 716 schools – 288 in Kuala Lumpur and 428 in Selangor were closed last week.

According to the API readings issued by the Department of Environment (DOE) six areas still registered API readings categorized as hazardous, one area of very unhealthy level while six more recorded unhealthy air quality.

The affected areas are Kuala Selangor, which registered API reading of 527, Port Klang (486), Shah Alam (430), Petaling Jaya (354), Gombak (305), Kuala Lumpur (295), Country Heights Kajang (204), Nilai (175), Seremban (140), Tanjung Malim,(127), Jerantut (116) and Bukit Rambai, Melaka (113).

API readings are categorised as follow: 0.50 classified as good, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy and above 300 considered hazardous. (BERNAMA-TNA)

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