Federal govt ‘exhausting all diplomatic avenues’ to resolve haze issue, says Bandar Kuching MP

Dr Yii helps a pupil to put on a face mask.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 10: Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) Yeo Bee Yin has given assurance that the ministry will take all necessary steps to address the trans-boundary haze problem in Malaysia including Sarawak.

According to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii who has contacted Yeo, diplomatic staff of Malaysia and Indonesia had a meeting yesterday.

“They are also arranging for a direct contact to be established between Yeo with her Indonesian counterpart to push the urgency of the matter (haze issue which has choked Malaysia and especially Sarawak for the past week),” he told DayakDaily when contacted today.

“They are exhausting all diplomatic avenues to press Indonesia because the main thing that we need to do now is to put out the fires in Indonesia,” he said.

The Malaysia government, Dr Yii disclosed, is prepared to offer any kind of assistance to help snuff out Indonesia’s fires that is causing the air polution and haze problems in Malaysia.

“However, I was made to understand that Indonesia has not responded. So I may be arranging… see how it goes.. to meet the Consulate of Indonesia in Kuching here to push the matter,” he said.

“We work together including with neighbouring countries in this region to adhere to the previous agreement and understanding to address this trans-boundary haze,” he added.

Nevertheless, he gave assurance that the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education have also taken all necessary steps and are on high alert to face the haze situation.

Dr Yii also advised consumers to lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) if they have bought certain types of face masks at unreasonable prices.

“We noticed and was made to understand how certain businesses are profiteering from the sale of face masks in this haze period,” he pointed out.

“There are types of surgical face masks that are categorised as controlled items, so if any consumers purchase the mask at an unreasonable price, they can lodge a complaint with the ministry.”

He also disclosed that the blue coloured three-ply ear loop mask is sold at RM0.80 per piece while the N95 type is RM6 per unit.

Complaints can be directed to KPDNHEP via email (e-aduan@kpdnhep.gov.my), call centre (1800 886 800), Ez ADU mobile apps, Enforcement Command Centre (ECC) at 03-88826245/6088, WhatsApp (019-2794317) or by visiting the closest KPDNHEP office throughout the country.

Dr Yii (back row, black shirt) in a photo with pupils of SK Jalan Ong Tiang Swee.

Earlier today, Dr Yii visited and distributed extra face masks to pupils sitting for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) public examination at SJK Jalan Ong Tiang Swee and SK Lumba Kuda.

“During the visits, I also briefed the pupils and parents that they should bring the children home and limit exposure to haze in the outdoors,” he said.

“If parents cannot bring their kids home, the schools have provided air-conditioned rooms for them to wait for their parents. We just want to make sure that all necessary precautions are taken,” he added. — DayakDaily