SHAH ALAM: Schools in Selangor will be closed if the Air Pollutant Index (API) in its areas rises to above 200, which is classified as very unhealthy.
Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said the state authorities were keeping a close watch on the haze situation and were prepared to close schools if the need arises.
He said the haze situation was monitored by the Selangor Disaster Management Unit and it would advise accordingly.
“No closures at the moment. However, we advise everyone to avoid outdoor activities if possible,” he said this after participating in the 2020 Budget dialogue here today.
Earlier today, the Education Ministry had announced that 409 schools in Sarawak had been closed due to the haze situation in the state.
Amirudin said the state had also asked the help from the police to act against anyone responsible for open burning.
“This seems to be a continuous problem for all. We had this problem in Sepang before and have somewhat contained it to a certain extend.
“Now we have the same problem in Johan Setia, Klang. This place has peat soil and fires there can spread very fast and it will be difficult to contain it.”
Previously, the state executive councillor for environment, green technology, science, technology and innovation, and consumer affairs Hee Loy Sian, had said that 28 open burning cases were detected in the Johan Setia area.
He said the state Department of Environment (DoE) has been investigating and action would be taken against the culprits.
Johan Setia is a fertile agriculture land in Klang that borders the Kuala Langat district. It is teeming with plenty of vegetable farms and bush fires here seem to be annual occurrence, which coincides with the haze.
Local farmers here are said to be responsible for some of the fires with their slash and burn farming techniques.
Local authorities have been working with the farmers on this issue but it yet seems to be resolved. The DoE has even placed a mobile unit to measure the Air Pollutant Index here to complement the five static ones placed in different parts of the state.
It highlights the seriousness of the issue here and it can be seen from today’s readings which showed Johan Setia with the highest API reading in Selangor at 162.