Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chief Minister of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, under probe

This is the frontpage of The Star today with the article titled, Several agencies roped into graft probe against CM.

The article says that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has set up a multi-agency task force to investigate allegations of graft against Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The video, Inside Malaysia's Shadow State, released on You Tube by London-based non-governmental organization Global Witness is being used as the focus of the corruption case. This video went viral after it was released on March 18. I saw the video about that time.

I was flabbergasted!

The video featured recorded conversations between Taib's cousins and two lawyers on matters ranging from illegal means to circumvent the operations of Malaysian laws to allegations of kickbacks to high officials within the state administration.

MACC said that it had taken statements from more than 20 people believed to be involved in the case or mentioned in the You Tube video which had alleged corrupt dealings in the state implicating the chief minister.

If you haven't seen the video, here it is.

Related article:
Global Witness - Corruption in Malaysia laid bare as investigation catches Sarawak’s ruling elite on camera

Saturday, June 29, 2013

No haze today in Malaysia but..

If you have just arrived in KL today, you wouldn't think we've had a bad case of the haze here in Kuala Lumpur just a week ago. We are having wonderful weather here in Kuala Lumpur today. Bright sunshine and blue skies as far as the eye can see. The PSI readings are looking good for the whole of Malaysia right now..
Although the haze seems to have cleared up, the fight against land clearing and peatland fires is not over, said the chief of an environment organisation.

Global Environment Centre director, Faizal Parish, expects the haze to worsen as the current drought continues until September.

The large-scale forest and peatland fires are still ongoing in Riau at the moment except that the winds are not blowing directly to Malaysia. The bad news is, should the wind direction change, the haze will come back.

Faizal stressed that to stop the haze, “we have to stop the fires”.

A campaign has been initiated for assigned personnel and volunteers to regularly patrol the areas to look out for land-clearing activities where the vegetation is left to be dried before they are being burned. The campaign also aims for awareness to let the people know the cause and prevention measures so that people can chip in to help.  Similar initiative is also taking place in Riau, Indonesia. The video below has more information.

Cristiano Ronaldo in Bali for Mangrove project

Real Madrid’s soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (right) poses with Martunis in Bali on Wednesday. (JP/Anggara Mahendra)

This is the Acehnese boy, a survivor of the 2004 Aceh tsunami, now 15, who was dragged out to sea and swept into a mangrove swamp. Wearing a red and green Portuguese soccer jersey with Ronaldo’s name on it, Martunis survived on puddle water and dried noodles and was rescued 19 days later and reunited with his father and grandfather.

His story attracted European media attention. In 2008, Ronaldo visited him in Aceh and financed his education.

It was a sweet and unexpected reunion between world soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and Martunis on Wednesday.

Ronaldo, nicknamed CR7, came to the resort island as an ambassador for the Mangrove Care Forum Bali. He joined in with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to plant mangroves at Telaga Waja, Benoa Bay. The area is part of the 1,373-hectare Ngurah Rai People’s Forest Park, the largest mangrove forest in Bali and an area that suffers from severe pollution, deforestation and littering.

The forum is expected to involve local communities in the clean up and creation of a safe environment for plants and marine life.

Ronaldo said: “I’m not paid [for being an ambassador]. I am doing this because I like to help the people, the children, the Earth and I think it’s great.”


Source: TheJakartaPost..Mangrove project reconnects Ronaldo and tsunami survivor

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hello Kitty plush toys on Sale at McDonald's Singapore

When McDonald's Malaysia launched their Hello Kitty plush toys several years ago, I've heard of people from Singapore coming over to Johor Bahru for them. Perhaps a reversal role is in the works at the moment?

McDonalds Singapore is now having their sale of Hello Kitty plush toys at the moment and people queue for hours to get a hold on them.

The craze is on..

Straits Times..
The McDonald's Hello Kitty plush toy craze has translated into a opportunities for online sellers to capitalise on the fad.

Several advertisements selling the toy were seen just hours after they went on sale early Thursday morning. In one posting on eBay. there were 125 bids for the "Singing Bone" model.
More: McDonald's urges public to stop profiteering from Hello Kitty plush toys

Friday Frolics - What Do You Hold Dear?

The weather is back to normal sunny blue skies again here in Kuala Lumpur. I hope the sun shines (in whatever form) at where you are too.

Have a beautiful and peaceful Friday, everyone!

You Hold Peace Dear

You let your imagination be your guide. You believe that almost all your dreams are possible.

When things get tough, you can get philosophical. You find an inner calm in your heart.

You are a very balanced creature. You avoid too much of a good thing.

You are good at expressing universal truths. You are both wise and philosophical.

Last Week's Quiz: The Fancy Cupcake Test

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 postponed to Sept 29

Jay Jayamurugan, a reader, asked here about the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 and whether it is going to happen with its 33,500 participants in view of the haze?

Here is the answer for you, Jay:

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 which was scheduled for Sunday (June 30), has been postponed to Sept 29 in the interest of public health, due to the haze situation.

The decision was made after discussions between the organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn Bhd, partners of the event and local authorities, including Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Department of Environment (DOE) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. More on Malaysia Chronicle: KL Marathon postponed to Sept due to haze

Race Entry Pack Collection, will however proceed as scheduled on June 27 to 29 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) for runners residing in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

For runners who are not from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, they may collect their race-entry packs on the week leading to Sept 29, where the organisers will set up a small scale race entry pack collection, only for outstation and overseas runners.

Haze reduced in Kuala Lumpur today - June 27, 2013

Blues skies are here again in Kuala Lumpur. The PSI readings below tell it all about the haze situation in Kuala Lumpur as well as in the rest of Malaysia. Let's hope for it to stay this way until the end of the dry season.

Below is PSI reading for between 6am to 11am this morning. The forecast by DOE for the next five hours looks promising with more areas turning "blue", i.e., good readings.

Most states are experiencing better air quality with moderate PSI readings, i.e., of between 51-100 and a lot more areas are having good readings of below 51 on the PSI today.

PSI readings for other areas can be accessed on the DOE website.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After the Rain - Malaysia Haze update for June 26, 2013

Rain at last! Rain yesterday evening in several parts of the Klang Valley brought relief from the haze.

What a welcome sight!
Source: The Star

The rain in varying degrees from a light drizzle in some parts of Petaling Jaya and Cheras to heavier rain in Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Gombak, Kepong and Seri Kembangan. Someone claimed on Twitter that hail fell in Seri Kembangan.

A Met Department spokesman said rain also fell in several areas in Perak, Muar in Johor, as well as in Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu, Bernama reported.

Here in Kuala Lumpur, though the air is not stuffy, it is a lot cooler as a matter of fact, the haze is still apparent even after the rain yesterday as well as during the small hours of the night. The API readings looked a lot more positive generally as at 7am this morning, June 26, but schools in parts of Selangor and Manjung, Perak are closed today due to the high API reading.

Shown below are API or PSI readings for the keenly-watched cities in Malaysia. API readings for other areas in the country can be viewed on the DOE website.

Meanwhile, fires are still raging in the Riau province. Satellite pictures have detected about 200 fires on plantations in the area. Indonesian authorities warned motorists and fishermen in parts of the province to stay home this week due to poor visibility from the haze. It has been reported that about 1,100 residents were forced to flee Rantau Bais and Bangko Pusako villages in Riau province Tuesday as acrid smoke from nearby burning peat swamps and palm oil plantations made breathing difficult, said local police spokesman Lt. Col. Hermansyah.

The Jakarta Post reported that Indonesian authorities have arrested eight farmers for setting illegal fires on Sumatra island to clear land after numerous blazes created a thick haze choking parts of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. - The Star

This is Dumai. This would have made a captivating scenery in normal weather conditions without the current choking smog that is shrouding the town and its surrounding areas.

It has been reported that Dumai is the epicentre of the haze. If this is so, this explains why Muar and Malacca are the places with the highest PSI reading, the reading for Muar exceeding 750!

The Straits Times Singapore reported today that in Muar, an asthmatic woman died on Sunday, a first Malaysian death blamed on smog.
Source:  Straits Times

There are boats (doing barter trading as well as ferrying people across) plying daily from Dumai to Muar and a few other coastal towns on the west coast. Below is a Google map indicating their proximity.

View Larger Map

As we speak, the peat fires are still raging in Dumai in the Riau province. A reporter from The Star on the scene while sitting at a stall by a centre coordinating efforts by a special unit to fight peat fire, was asked if Malaysia could send help to put an end to the smog from peat fires.

“We have minimal equipment, only a water pump and hose to put out the smoke,” said the man named Nafi.

“Hopefully, Malaysia could send an aircraft to help us,” he added.

Nafi even joked: “Ya Pak, Indonesia expor asap dengan TKI ke Malaysia, Malaysia pula expor narkoba sama teroris ke Indonesia.”

(Indonesia exports smoke and manpower to Malaysia, Malaysia in turn exports drugs and terrorists to Indonesia.)

And over in the south, Singapore experienced freak weather conditions, including hail that wreaked havoc in the western part of Singapore yesterday afternoon.

The Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) has confirmed that the hail, which some residents, particularly those living in the western parts of Singapore experienced, is not caused by the cloud seeding in Indonesia. It added that the heavy downpour on Tuesday afternoon was not toxic.

PSI readings for Singapore at 12pm: 3hr PSI: 64 (Moderate), 24hr PSI: 59-62 - Straits Times.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Update on Haze in Malaysia today - June 25, 2013

You can read the latest update on the HAZE here.

"How bad is the air in kuala lumpur, malaysia now?" This is a valid question if you are planning a trip to Malaysia. Seven people asked this question and landed here on this site.

Yeah, how bad is the air here in Kuala Lumpur today?

When I woke up this morning, the air though not clear, was devoid of the smell of barbecue unlike the air yesterday. So that is good news to start with.  Not everyone was wearing a mask on the way to work this morning from my observation.  On ground level, the air didn't smell or feel bad.  In a highrise, it could be different though with the PSI in KL still at an unhealthy level.

The DOE website is able to be accessed today, so let's take a look at the PSI reading here in KL as well as in other parts Malaysia. In Malaysia, we refer to the index as API (Air Pollutant Index) as opposed to the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) used in Singapore.

Here's a comparison of two pie-charts.  The chart on top is the API/PSI as at 7am this morning, June 25. The one below shows the index about a week ago on June 19 at 7am. Hilited are Muar, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam. If you are looking for a Singapore reading, the ones for Johore are a good indication as Singapore is in the same vicinity separated by just a narrow Straits of Johore. However, the haze has eased in the city-state with a moderate PSI reading of 51-100 today as reported by Straits Times. The wind has shifted the haze to further north beyond Muar and Malacca.  More of that in a minute..

In Kuala Lumpur, the pollution index (PSI) neared the "very unhealthy" 200 level for the first time during the current outbreak - a KL PSI reading of 186 at 7am this morning.

Schools in Kuala Lumpur (and several states) were ordered to close if the PSI hits 300 and authorities advised parents to keep children indoors or make them wear face masks outside.

From both charts, you'd be able to tell that more areas in the country are now at unhealthy levels (yellow wedge) as compared to last week.  Green would put us in a healthier position though the norm (for much of the year) here in Malaysia is the blue reading which unfortunately shows only 6% of the country being at this level this morning.

You may be interested in specific PSI levels for the different towns and cities in Malaysia, so here are the readings. All readings are for 7am this morning, June 15 - courtesy of DOE.

In Penang, the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings today surged to unhealthy levels on the island, a rise from the moderate readings recorded on yesterday.

As of 7am, the API readings at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) hit 121, a major increase from 81 at 5pm the previous day. - The Star

Penang: The Air Pollutant Index (API) readings surged Tuesday to unhealthy levels on the island.

In Port Klang, Ships still setting out to sea at the Pulau Ketam Jetty..

Ships out to sea at the Pulau Ketam Jetty in Port Klang
Port Klang residents are hanging on to their face masks, as thick haze drove the API reading to a high of 495 Tuesday morning.

The Department of Environment recorded the latest reading at 8am. Only an hour earlier, the reading was at 487, a spike from Monday's evening's already hazardous reading of 319. - The Star

Meanwhile in Muar, Johore, the state of emergency has been lifted and schools reopen..

Now is not the time for the blame game but in a goodwill gesture and in a bid to ease tensions after the haze triggered a war of words between Jakarta and its neighbours, with an Indonesian minister at one point accusing Singapore of acting "like a child", Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has apologised to Singapore and Malaysia after the two countries were cloaked in thick haze from raging forest fires on Sumatra island.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says sorry - The Star
"As the president of Indonesia, I apologise for what has happened and ask for the understanding of the people of Malaysia and Singapore," he said late Monday.

"We accept it is our responsibility to tackle the problem."
- The Star

Indonesia is trying its utmost to extinguish the fires by using helicopters and planes for water-bombing and cloud-seeding, which chemically induces rain, but officials say the efforts have so far had little success.

Yesterday, Indonesian state news agency, Anatara, reported that two flights had to be turned back from the airport in the provincial capital, Pekanbaru, due to the thick haze shrouding Riau province where the blazes are centred. Riau province is the closest to and at the same latitude belt as Muar and Singapore explaining why these two places have suffered the most in this haze.

The smoky haze in the region from Sumatra is a recurring problem during the June-September dry season, when smallholders and plantations alike set fires to prepare land for cultivation despite a legal ban.

The Star
Apparently, we are not the only ones affected by the smog as it has been reported that birds are waking up much later to forage for food the past few days.

Cats and dogs are also not too keen on going out.

Veterinarian Dr M.Vijayndra suggests that pet owners to continue to walk their pets, although the time could be shortened, especially for those prone to problems.

Still planning that trip to Kuala Lumpur? Come on over!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Current situation of Haze in Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur, Muar, Singapore - June 24, 2013

Check out 2015 Current Situation of the Haze here.

The air quality in Kuala Lumpur has still not improved from yesterday. I'm not able to get a current PSI reading for KL but a mask is still a good friend to go outdoors with.

Fiery red supermoon  over the hazy backdrop in Kuala Lumpur last night - The Star
The haze in Malaysia has today escalated to unhealthy levels on the API or PSI and in certain districts, even to crisis levels. Schools in these parts of the country have been ordered to close today - Selangor and Kuala Lumpur; Negeri Sembilan including Port Dickson; Malacca; Kuantan and other districts in Pahang; and Segamat, Muar, Ledang, Batu Pahat, Kluang in Johor.

In Muar, the district has been declared to be on emergency status meant to encourage the people to stay indoors due to the haze which hit a dangerous 750 on the API (Air Pollutant Index).

“People are still allowed to go about with their normal routines but for their own good, they should try and stay inside as much as possible and wear masks,” Muar District Officer Abdul Rahman Muhamed Dewan said during a press conference on Sunday.

Muar folk brave thicker haze today despite state of emergency - The Star

Under the emergency guidelines, aimed at ensuring public safety and health, federal, state and district level natural disaster, management committees must advise the closure of schools and childcare centres, government and private sector offices and other work premises, including factories, plantations, construction sites, quarries and earthwork sites.

However, services related to water, electricity, public health, safety, radio and telecommunication, transport and finances are exempt.

The number of hotspots in Sumatra is reported to have doubled.

Here's an indication of the haze menace - KL PSI reading and elsewhere in the country at different times of the day (yesterday, I believe), and visibility info - as reported in The Star today..

Visibility problem affected two Malaysia Airlines flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan. Two flights had to be cancelled because visibility in Kuantan was at only 400km. All other operations were normal and the situation was being monitored.

API readings between 51 and 100 are considered “moderate”, 101 to 200 as “unhealthy” and 201 to 300 “very unhealthy”.

Any reading above 300 is “hazardous” while readings above 500 come under “emergency”.

Authorities are prepared to carry out cloud seeding but there is practically “no cloud to seed” as moisture in the atmosphere is being drawn to the Tropical Storm Bebinca that is hitting south China. The storm is expected to make landfall today and when this happens, the situation is expected to change and we will see if the cloud-seeding can be carried out then,” said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

The Star reported today that Tourists still flock to KLCC despite haze with an American tourist saying his trip was not spoiled by the haze, adding optimistically that the “smog would be gone soon”.

Chinese tourist Mark Xiong, 27, who was wearing a face mask, said the haze was actually not too bad, adding that “in Beijing, the air quality was sometimes very bad”.

And in Malacca..
Say ‘haze’: A woman posing for a camera near a beach in Malacca despite the haze in the state. - The Star
*wide grin*

Meanwhile, face masks are flying off store shelves in no time.. and traders have been warned not to take advantage of the situation by raising prices.

Let's take a look at the haze situation in Singapore. Straits Times reported a moderate PSI reading in Singapore of between 51-100 this morning.

Clear skies at tourist spots..
Gardens by the Bay late yesterday afternoon - clear skies - Straits Times

Stay safe, stay indoors..whenever possible.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gay Paree, here I come! I wish..

I stumbled on a site about luxury vacation rentals paris france and wished I was there in Paris away from this current choking smog and hazy environment.

I would see Gay Paree during the day and plonk onto the most comfortable bed at night after spending an exciting day painting Paris red and all sorts of other vibrant colours!  

I'm captivated by this set of lightings on the website.  They are pretty, don't you think? Oui?

Do you have somewhere you'd like to escape to too in this haze? Come share..

Haze situation - very hazardous now

The latest update on the haze is that PM Najib Tun Razak has decided to declare a state of emergency in Muar and Ledang (Johore) after the API/PSI breached the 750 level. As of 7.00am this morning, the air pollutant index (API) in Muar spiked to 746, which is more than twice the standard hazardous levels according to the Department of Environment website.

Bernama reported two cities in Malacca also were in hazardous API territory as at 7am. They are Bandaraya Melaka and Bukit Rambai with readings of 357 and 334 respectively.

The National Security Council (NSC) would issue instructions for residents to stay indoors and direct schools in several states to remain closed.

"NSC should look at cloud seeding operations immediately," said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

Here in the Klang Valley, visibility is down to less than 1km in Subang and Petaling jaya.

Visibility below 1km in Klang Valley - The Star
Petronas Twin Towers shrouded in haze - The Star

The air is still outside and I can feel a prickly sensation in my nose. 

KL Haze today - June 23 2013

Woke up with the smell of smoke in the air. Looked out the window and didn't like what I saw. I'm also seeing a soaring site stats this morning and the past few days since the Malaysia haze started. This could only mean people inside and outside the country or region are concerned about the haze situation.  Even United Nations is concerned and have called for urgent steps to be taken.

So, what's the PSI reading in Kuala Lumpur today? Am not suprised if it is unhealthy or even very unhealthy today. It is bad.

The haze in KL today is not good. It looks like it's worse today than yesterday. I took a drive/walk out in my neighbourhood to capture some shots to share with you.

A car (whose driver was wearing a mask) stopped to offer me a ride. Touched by his kind gesture.  Declined and thanked him.

I didn't venture too far so just a few shots to show..

No Petronas Twin Towers in the distance

Not much sunshine getting through today
Two tall durian trees in someone's backyard

Alright, some vision calibration is in order.. blue skies on a clear day in Kuala Lumpur

And this shot (from The Star) is of rally participants camping out at Padang Merbok after yesterday's Black 505 rally in Kuala Lumpur. The rally was held to call for the immediate resignation of all Election Commission (EC) commissioners, re-elections to be held in at least 30 parliamentary seats and to stop the EC from conducting redelineation exercise or review electoral laws pending appointment of new commissioners. The protestors are camping ahead of the opening of the 13th Parliament tomorrow.

Padang Merbok campsite with the KL Tower in the background

Over in the south, shocking PSI reading for Muar. The air pollutant index (API) in Muar has spiked to 746 as of 7.00am this morning, which is more than twice the standard hazardous levels according to the Department of Environment website on Sunday.

This is Muar town yesterday with a API/PSI of 453
Source: The Star

On a normal non-hazy day, Muar is this clear..a picture from my archives..

Tower near the Muar bridge (bottom right) over the Muar River

Further down in Singapore, the PSI has improved today to 90 as at 11am. This could be due to wind direction change with the fumes being blown KL-way, hence our bad KL PSI reading today. Still not able to access the DOE site. Suspect it must be getting so many hits it's not able to cope. The smog is mounting as I'm writing this. The PSI reading here in KL must be soaring and in tandem with my site unique visitor hits but the latter I'm not complaining.

Take care, those of you caught in this hazy environment. This too shall pass..

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kuala Lumpur one of 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World?

Along Jalan Sultan Ismail. Building on the left is the Shangri-la Hotel
KLites or Kuala Lumpurians, would you agree that Kuala Lumpur is one of 10 Dangerous Cities in the World? Why am I asking this? Because the 10Awesome site posted this list that has KL making it this year at No. 6, even ahead of Johannesburg, South Africa, that's listed at No. 7.

I'm not making this up. Read what it says about Kuala Lumpur..

6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia also takes pride in its spectacular landscapes, a culture that begs to be discovered and explored and… a history of violence that made way too many victims. Presently, the state’s capital is said to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world, as the crime rate increased with 70% in the last three years. It wasn’t a peace on Earth display before either, but now things seem to keep getting worse.

No wonder they say not to believe everything you read on the Internet. This piece makes it sound like we can get gunned down or daggered at every turn. Sigh.

The article didn't say what kind of measurement system was being used. Anyway, here's the list of 10 Dangerous Cities in the World..

1. San Pedro Sula – Honduras
2. Ciudad Huarez – Mexico
3. Maceio, Brazil
4. Acapulco, Mexico
5. Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
7. Johannesburg, South Africa
8. Caracas, Venezuela
9. Marrakech, Morocco
10. New Orleans, U.S.A

Share your thoughts in the Comments.

Situation of Haze in Kuala Lumpur today - June 22 2013

Checkout Haze update on June 23, 2013

Oh my goodness, no wonder we are in trouble, haze trouble, that is! Look at this smoke that's rising from burning areas near agricultural plantations in Rokan Hilir, Riau province, Indonesia.

Choking skies..The Star
Riau province is on almost the same latitude as Johore and Singapore and aided by the south-westerly monsoon winds, the fumes are all blown this a-way. Now we know why these places are all choked up..

The bad news is, the haze is expected to last until August. Horrors! More on The Star.

Here in Kuala Lumpur, the haze is worse today than it was yesterday. Yesterday, the sky was blue with fine white clouds and a breeze blowing but today, the sky is smog-covered with the acrid smell of smoke in the air.  *Cough! Cough!* And it also feels stuffy, like there is no air movement.

The good news is, people are still able to go about their business and I too went out for a roti canai-and-teh tarik breakfast this morning. Saw a number of familiar faces at the mamak shop too.

The local Saturday morning Pasar Tani (Farmer's Market) was crowded like always and a taekwon-do class was in session at an open-air tennis court. As you can deduce from these activities, the haze in KL is still bearable and not with an unhealthy PSI reading of more than 200. The PSI or API as it is known here according to DOE shows a reading of 113 at 11am in Selangor this morning.  The capital city of Kuala Lumpur is embedded in this state, for the benefit of overseas readers.

Let's take a look at the situation in Singapore. The Straits Times reported that the 24 hour average PSI at 11am was in the 175-229 range, from 176-235 at 10am. That is good news. More..Haze update: More N95 masks will be in stock at NTUC Unity Healthcare as PSI dips to 319

Why am I concerned about Singapore?  I have friends and relatives in Singapore. Have even extended them an invitation to come over to KL to escape the bad air - well, at least, it is fresher here than there, I can safely say.. Anyway, they must be coping well.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Haze situation in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

Read Haze update on Sept 13, 2015

There's no escape from the haze. Even inside the air-conditioned office we can smell the pungent air from outside.

I was boasting to a friend in Singapore that our air here was not as bad as the PSI level in Singapore. That was the haze situation in KL yesterday afternoon. The sun was still shining through here in Kuala Lumpur and still is today but the Kuala Lumpur haze has got us today.

The air wreaks of smoke and visibility is a lot worse than yesterday. Better to stay indoors for those with asthma or breathing problems or other ailments that could be aggravated by the smog. My eyes are affected when I step outside.

The Star today reported that:

THE haze in Malaysia has once again reached dangerous levels.

It has now left only 13% of the country with good air to breathe while many schools in Johor have closed as Malaysians there took in the worst of it, so far.

In Kuala Lumpur, this Sunday's planned 2013 Olympic Day Run for 15,000 participants at Padang Merbok has been postponed, the co-organisers McDonald's Malaysia said.

The focus is on Muar as it reached a high API reading of 383 at 11am yesterday. More than 200 schools have been closed in Muar.

The haze in Muar recorded a ‘hazardous’ API of 383 at 11am - The Star

Singapore haze was bad yesterday and is not getting any better either as the PSI hit 378 as at 10am this morning when I read it but at 12:00 noon, the reading has shot up to 401 - another new high!
The Straits Times has this view from The Plaza on Beach Road at 11.15am on June 21

AsiaOne has this image of the Marina Bay Sands..

Needless to say, sale of face-masks is soaring both sides of the Causeway.

Stay safe..