Santiago calls for cooperation from Asean countries to tackle air pollution

Santiago calls for cooperation from Asean countries to tackle air pollution

GEORGE TOWN: A parliamentarian has called on the 10 – member Asean grouping to respect the protocols set on managing air pollution following the recent recurrence of the haze.

Klang MP Charles Santiago, who also heads the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, said that the regional bloc has a set of protocols to comply with under the charter on Asean haze management.

“We do not seem to respect each other over environmental issues. It is now coming to two decades of struggle in combating haze”.

Santiago told theSun that the Asean countries must respect each other's boundaries and work towards preventing the trans-boundary spread of the haze.

He said those responsible, must be slapped with punitive action.

In Penang, an early morning downpour proved to be a respite from the haze.

As of 3.30pm, most areas up north with the exception of Langkawi and Perlis recorded an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of between 55 to 80, which is defined as moderate level.

Both Langkawi and Perlis recorded good levels of air quality.

But Langkawi Tourism City Council councillor K. Gunasegaran, said the failure to act against air pollution has led to the haze situation recurring every year.

He said in tackling air pollution, the authorities should start with banning any kind of open burning.

Langkawi Tourism acting chairperson Ahmad Pishol Isahak said that haze generates a bad impression to tourists so it is about time that Asean works to settle it.

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