Malaysia's Parliament to debate emergency motion on haze

Malaysia's iconic Petronas twin towers and Kuala Lumpur's skyline are shrouded in thick haze on Oct 21, 2015.
Malaysia's iconic Petronas twin towers and Kuala Lumpur's skyline are shrouded in thick haze on Oct 21, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Parliament will set aside one hour on Wednesday (Oct 21) to debate an emergency motion on the worsening haze situation affecting the country.

Mr Hee Loy Sian, a Parti Keadian Rakyat MP for PJ Selatan, tabled the motion in Parliament and Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee allowed it to be debated in the House.

Mr Hee said that the haze had reached serious levels that were not only affecting health, but also tourism and businesses as well.

One hour will be set aside between 4.30pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday for lawmakers to debate the issue plaguing the country.

As of 11am on Wednesday morning, several areas recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings.

Among the areas with unhealthy readings are Petaling Jaya (187), Banting (192) and Putrajaya (194).

Port Klang and Shah Alam recorded very unhealthy API readings of 204 and 235 respectively.

The afternoon session for primary and secondary schools in Penang have been suspended due to the haze.

State Education Director Sharri Osman said the announcement was only made on Wednesday.

"Schools in the afternoon sessions are close today. Tomorrow if any changes are made the announcement will be made by the Education Ministry," he said in a text statement.

A teacher at a primary school in Bayan Lepas said headmasters and principles in Penang were informed about the schools' suspension at 1.34pm.

"Classes are usual for us but parents can pick up their children if they wish to do so," said the teacher.

The API at Universiti Sains Malaysia is at the unhealthy range of 153.