Monday, October 09, 2006

Bloody F***in HAZE - Updated 10-Oct

I write this blog at a time when I hear the sweet sound of thunder and see the dark clouds gather outside the noon sky. The sight of lightning, out side my office window helped me bring a sigh of relief. But for how long? But, the sudden rain disappears as rapid as it came, only brining the dreaded smoke lower.

If you are not sure what I am talking about, or were wondering if I was paying homage to the rain god… that’s not it… The haze in Malaysia has been horrific. No one in the government seem to care, and excuses range from “its not all over Malaysia”, “its not all the time”, “we are doing something about it”, “it isn’t at a dangerous level yet”, to the plain denial of the issue. However, make no mistake about it, most parts of Malaysia (including KL) have been blanketed by dense smoke. Visibility is sometimes reduced to a mere 50 feet. My eyes turned red, with the veins almost popping out. A fake doctor (yes, there are those too) said that its called conjunctivitis.

The explanations given by the government (if at all), are unsatisfactory. The fingers keep pointing at tree burning Indonesians. However, unsaid is what the Malaysian government is prepared to do to protect both its citizens and its visitors. To date, I don’t see any advisory about how to protect your self, what you can do, and what specific steps are being taken by the government to ensure that the people in Malaysia are being taken care of.

One MP when asked the question if Malaysia was going to protest to the government of Indonesia replied that ‘Malaysia can respond in many ways’ and goes on to talk about it being necessary to act rather than talk. However, these words don’t ring right, cause talk is all that has happened so far.

The Indonesian government has said that there’s nothing it can do and has requested people to pray for rain. That really sums up the kind of learnt helplessness that’s evident in this region. No one seems to care to wear a mask, or protect themselves.

People in Malaysia have grown complaisant about what is happening to them. Choosing to cover their faces with a handkerchief or a tissue, is an exception than the norm. One guy in the LRT laughed at me for wearing a mask. I told him to f**k off and jump in the flames if he has nothing to do. Life seems to go on. The picture that has been painted is that the haze is here for now, it will clear soon, and then things will go back to normal. Some even make it seem like a seasonal thing. Advisories such as “stay indoors”, “don’t exert your body”, “drink lots of water” are meaning less when no concrete health measures are offered.

Fake psychologists, fake doctors, and fake ministers of parliament! I don’t care about them any more. This haze is man made. Its criminal. Old people are choking and people will die as a result of it. There are hundreds or more who are falling ill. Those in power seem to want to “wait” for the weather gods.

In the mean time, I have got conjunctivitis, asthma, and a headache. I really really want to leave Malaysia.
The Malaysian Department of Environment has promised to take open burning serious. It also has updates of the haze levels in different areas in Malaysia. This includes your unfriendly neighbor lighting up the garbage. Its been made technically illegal to openly burn stuff in Malaysia. But, who’s really enforcing that any way? Besides, this haze is not due to the little fires created by the friendly neighborhood pyromaniac, its caused by the systematic burning of plantation in part of the crop renewal cycle each year.

Major media is reporting that the "wind direction has changed and so the haze is clearing". That’s a f**ing retarded way of saying that we have swept it under the carpet for now. The damage is being done, the fires still continue, but the wind of course is taking the problem else where...
ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION Complaints pertaining to the environmental pollutions can be made via mail, phone-call or submitted directly to the relevant Department of Environment State Office's. DOE's HQ Control Room in Putrajaya operates from 7.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. daily inclusive of weekends and public holidays. Complaints can also be forwarded to:
Department of Environment Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Level 1 - 4, Podium 2 & 3,
Lot 4G3, Precint 4, Federal
Government Administrative Centre 62574
Hunting Line : 03-8871 2000 / 8871 2200
Complaints Line: 03-8889 1972
Fax: 03-8889 1973/75
JASLINE :1-800-88-2727


Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I had no idea that the haze and the weather were so unhealthy. I tend to agree with you that we are creating much of the bad air and weather.


tessa said...







Stephanie said...

As much as I love being a Malaysian, I have to agree with the comments you wrote about the governments. If they claimed that they have tried doing something about it, then they probably gotta try harder.

Indonesian government... the most hilarious thing that I've ever heard..."there’s nothing it can do and has requested people to pray for rain."

oh well..
hope you get well soon!