Indonesian police arrest 185 over forest fires

Haze closes Malaysia schools, sparks fears for Singapore F1

Toxic haze from forest fires closes schools, airports in Indonesia, Malaysia

The forest fires in Indonesia has seen neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore bearing the burden of the haze which is getting worse and worse by the day.

He said he did not write any letter yet to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia on the haze issue.

Malaysia will appeal to Asean to push for a "more effective mechanism" at the regional level to combat the haze resulting from Indonesia's forest fires almost every year.

Indonesia's Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told Reuters last week that some of the fires in her country had been spotted on palm oil plantations operated by at least four subsidiaries of Malaysian companies.

Borneo island is divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

Almost 1,500 schools have closed across Malaysia as haze conditions worsened, affecting more than 1 million students, according to a statement from the country's education ministry.

The authorities on Monday said they had arrested almost 200 people suspected of being involved in activities that led to the out-of-control fires.

Thursday's school shutdown marked the first mass closure in Kuala Lumpur as air quality deteriorated to "unhealthy" or "very unhealthy" levels on an official index in many parts of peninsular Malaysia, to the east of Sumatra, with the capital's skyline shrouded by dense smog.

Currently, the Asean Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution does not allow for other states to take action against an offending signatory, nor render assistance unless requested by the affected party.

Uncomfortable visibility closed plenty of airports within the Indonesian part of Borneo, and ratings of flights non-public already been diverted and cancelled within the gap in most up-to-date days attributable to the smog.

But Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has struck a diplomatic tone throughout the crisis, said Malaysia may pass legislation forcing its companies to tackle fires on plantations overseas.

Among its efforts to tackle the hazard, Malaysia could pass a new law to punish any of its companies responsible for starting fires, but only worldwide cooperation could yield a lasting solution, Yeo added. Air quality was in the "unhealthy" range across Singapore Thursday morning, according to the National Environment Agency, as the city state's environment minister called it a "major setback" in the fight against climate change.

"This extraterritorial power will enable the government to investigate and act swiftly against any Malaysian company operating in Indonesia, found to have contributed to the haze", he said today. But this year's fires have been worsened by dry weather and experts believe there is little chance of them being extinguished until the onset of the rainy season in October.

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