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Haze diminishing: Palanivel

CAMERON HIGHLANDS, March 7 (Bernama) -- The current haze situation in the country is improving, following the decrease in the Air Pollutant Index (API), says Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

"So far, the API is not as high as (was recorded) before, where the readings were above 200.

"Previously, more than 200 schools were ordered to shut down and people were advised not to leave their homes," he said.

Palanivel said this after attending a Generation Inspiration Programme in Cameron Highlands and presentation of awards and equipment to empower Ecer (East Coast Economic Region) entrepreneurs here today.

He said the current haze was caused by forest fires in several areas in Selangor, Perak, Pahang, Johor and Terengganu.

"Previously, fires in Sumatra were the cause of haze in our country but now, the fires breaking out here is causing the haze," he said, hoping it would rain soon in haze-affected areas.

In the programme, Palanivel presented certificates of recognition from Empower East Coast Economic Region Development Cameron Highlands to 18 students and 10 outstanding entrepreneurs.

The minister said Empower ECER was a unique programme involving all races and that it empowered students and entrepreneurs to reach a higher level and helped in building the self-confidence of participants.

Empower ECER is a two-pronged initiative for the development of human capital and was launched by East Coast Economic Region Development Council in 2010 to help bridge the economic gap between rural and urban communities.


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