Penang to activate public health advisory as air pollution climbs

An aerial view of George Town on a hazy afternoon is seen from the Komtar building September 11, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
An aerial view of George Town on a hazy afternoon is seen from the Komtar building September 11, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 11 — The Air Pollutant Index (API) readings in the southwest side of Penang island is now at an unhealthy 114, prompting the state government to come up with a health awareness advisory for the public.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state will advise the public on the dos-and-don’ts once the API reaches a certain level.

“We will discuss it tomorrow to come up with advice to Penang people and do what is necessary to spread health awareness in this situation,” he said.

The three other stations in Penang are still below the 100 threshold mark for what is classified unhealthy: Minden measures 97, Seberang Perai and Seberang Jaya on the mainlaind both clock in at 80 as at noon today.

Yesterday, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye reportedly said the haze in the country is expected to worsen.

He said this could be due to the wind direction that will bring haze from forest fires in Indonesia, especially from Kalimantan.

When asked to comment on the boycott of non-Muslim product campaign that has been renamed to “buy Muslim product campaign”, Chow said it was a futile effort that was not productive for the country and economy.

“If they are only promoting bumiputra products, we will not go against it, but to boycott non-Muslim products, it is not good for the economy and the inter-racial economy of the society,” he said after officiating the In.Tech Conference 2019 here.

Recently, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the groups that had promoted the boycott of non-Muslim products had changed it to “buy Muslim first”.

He reportedly said it was “buy Malaysian first” that should be promoted.

“The ministry has been supporting the promotion of local products by imposing a strict policy that all international hypermarkets and supermarkets must have 30 per cent local products,” he said.

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