DoE bans open burning amid worsening haze

by NG MIN SHEN/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Department of Environment (DoE) has banned all forms of open burning in Malaysia except for cremation, burning for religious purposes, grill/barbeque and flaring until the end of the South-West Monsoon season.

DoE director-general Norlin Jaafar said the move to ban such opening following the current haze that has engulfed the country since September 5, 2019.

The ban, which is effective immediately, is enforced in accordance with the powers vested in the Director-General of Environment Quality under Section 29AA(2) of the Environment Quality Act 1974.

“All parties are advised against conducting open burning or allowing their land or premises to be entered by irresponsible quarters who resort to open burning, either intentionally or unintentionally,” Norlin said in a statement yesterday.

Those found guilty of open burning can be fined up to RM500,000 or sentenced to a jail term of up to five years, or both. A maximum compound of RM2,000 can also be imposed for every offence, Norlin added.

She also urged people to help extinguish small fires and to report any incidences of open burning to the Fire and Rescue Department as well as the DoE.

Earlier yesterday, the DoE said that as at 11am, there were 21 areas in Malaysia with “unhealthy” Air Pollution Index (API) readings, while 46 areas recorded “moderate” API levels. There were no areas with “healthy” API readings.