KUCHING, Sept 11 — Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas today refuted claims by Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar that the haze blanketing Kuala Lumpur was originating from Sarawak.
He said there is no way that the haze originated from Sarawak, which itself is a victim of transboundary haze from West Kalimantan.
“I suggest that she should get the right information from the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), which is tracking the haze movement,” Uggah, who is also the state Disaster Management Committee chairman, said when contacted for response.
Saying that he was shocked by the claim, he said the haze that blanketed much of Peninsular Malaysia comes from forest fires in Sumatra, not from Sarawak as claimed by the Indonesian minister.
Uggah said the satellite images show many hotspots are detected in Sumatra and West Kalimantan.
The Indonesian minister had claimed that the smog affecting Kuala Lumpur was not originated from her country, but from Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia
Indonesia’s denial comes despite the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC) warning that haze will continue to affect western parts of Peninsular Malaysia and western Sarawak, as hotspots are expected to persist in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Earlier this week, minister Yeo Bee Yin said the fires in Indonesia are the root cause of the haze that Malaysia is currently experiencing, and that such fires need to be urgently extinguished.
The minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change said the Malaysian government will use all diplomatic channels to raise the urgency of taking immediate action to the Indonesian government.
Yesterday, Sarawak Natural Resources and Environmental Board had said a total of 3,106 hotspots had been detected in West Kalimantan and another 1,198 in Sumatera.