'The facts speak for themselves': Malaysia minister Yeo Bee Yin slams Indonesia's denial of haze

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said data indicates that Indonesia was responsible for the haze. PHOTO: ST FILE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin says that data clearly shows that Indonesia is responsible for the haze in the country.

"Let the data speak for itself. Minister Siti Nurbaya should not be in denial, " she wrote in her Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept 11).

Yeo said that data indicates that Indonesia was responsible for the haze, and that Siti Nurbaya should not be pushing the blame to Malaysia.

This comes following reports that Indonesian Environment Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said that the haze in Malaysia was caused by the forest fires in its own country.

Siti Nurbaya said Malaysia had not been transparent about its own forest fires, and that she will send a letter to the Malaysian ambassador to correct its data.

In the post, Yeo had also included a link to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), in which the latest data showed that the total number of hotspots in Kalimantan was 474 and Sumatera was 387.

This was a stark contrast to the latest number of hotspots in Malaysia, which was recorded at seven.

Yeo also included a link from the ASMC that showed the wind direction in which the haze would have blown, which debunked Siti Nurbaya's claim that Sarawak's haze was caused by Malaysia's forest fires.

"As for (Siti Nurbaya's) claim that the haze is from Sarawak, just look at the wind direction. How is it logically possible?" she said.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, however, has declined to react to Siti Nurbaya's claim that the haze situation in Malaysia originated from fires in Sarawak.

"Never mind, that is just her own comment. We will not say anything about it, " said Dr Mahathir to reporters, after attending Binary University's 35th anniversary gala dinner here.

The recent haze has caused a number of areas in Malaysia to record unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) levels.

Sarawak was the most affected, and half a million face masks were sent by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to the state.

Schools in the state will also be temporarily closed by the Education Ministry based on API readings, though the UPSR examinations are expected to go on.

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