The Star, 14 January 2016
PETALING JAYA: The El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to bring higher temperatures and decreased rainfall in the first quarter of 2016, could possibly bring back the haze, said the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
To tackle the dry and hot weather, the ministry and all the agencies involved will increase preventive measures against open burning activities.
The ministry said it had activated the open burning prevention action plan around the country yesterday.
This included patrolling on land, aerial surveillance, enforcement – especially in areas identified as flammable.
“Those who are convicted of open burning can be fined up to RM500,000 or jailed up to five years or both,” it said in a statement here yesterday.
“A maximum RM2,000 compound can also be imposed for each offence.”
The ministry would also step up an awareness campaign through local radio stations to remind the public not to carry out open burning.
The public is also urged to cooperate by putting out small fires and reporting open burning or fires to the Fire and Rescue Department at 999 or the Department of Environment at the toll free line 1-800-88-2727.
Peninsular Malaysia, Limbang and Miri in Sarawak, and Sabah are expected to experience hot and dry weather until March, with rainfall reduced by between 20% and 60%. Temperatures are expected to rise between 0.5°C and 2°C.