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Malaysia Air Pollution Data A State Secret - Can't Scare The Tourists!!

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-04 10:07 AM
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Malaysia Air Pollution Data A State Secret - Can't Scare The Tourists!!
KUALA LUMPUR : "Malaysia said air pollution figures would remain a state secret due to fears the economy would be hurt by revealing how much smog from neighbouring Indonesia had blanketed parts of the country.

"The only problem is that it gets distorted by the international media. It then gives a grim picture of Malaysia," deputy prime minister Najib Razak said Thursday. "It could be overplayed and then it will have an adverse effect on the economy," he added.

In 1997, at the height of the haze crisis, Malaysia classified the air pollution index as an official secret. Malaysia now only refers to air quality as "good, moderate, unhealthy or hazardous" after banning the release of air pollution figures for fear it might drive away tourists.


Marine police have issued haze alert for seafarers plying the Malacca Straits where hundreds of ships pass through daily. "Visibility in the Malacca Straits has been reduced to just one kilometre (0.62 miles) from the normal six kilometres due to the haze. I advise ships and barter-traders to put on navigational lights," Abdul Salam Abdul Halim, marine police chief in the sourthern Johor state told AFP."

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Derrow Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-24-04 10:41 AM
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1. *cough* *cough* *cough*
Guy, you don't know the half of it. I live in Malaysia. It's bad, just not as bad as it was 7 years ago. That said, my eczema is making my head itch and I'm getting sinus headaches and a sore throat from all the polluted air I have to breath. The question is, why doesn't the Indonesian government do something about open burning (and piracy too since most of them operate from Indonesian waters)? Don't trust the official Malaysian rags, they're all owned by the government. I get my news from Malaysiakini or I check out Jeff Ooi's blog. Uncensored discussion of Malaysia, religion and liberal politics can be found here.

I'll have to say, though, that living in smog-filled Malaysia is a lot better for my health than when I was living in Pascagoula, MS. Debris from the paper mill filled the air and no one dared to drink the water from the pipes. I'm quite surprised that I can't find a link to the health hazard posed by the paper mill, though. Ah, well. Can't let ol' Helmet Head look bad now, can we?

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go into my room equiped with an imaginary oxygen-producing air-con. Hope I don't choke in my sleep.
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