Public urged to wear masks as Malaysia’s air quality drops

State health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said that five out of eight locations in the state recorded unhealthy API readings.


Thick haze covering the coastal highway near Danga Bay, which connects Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri, at around 8.30am on Oct 8, 2023. PHOTO: THE STAR

October 9, 2023

JOHOR BARU – As several locations in Johor show unhealthy Air Pollutant Index (API) readings due to the haze, state health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon is urging the public to put on face masks.

The Yong Peng assemblyman, who is also MCA Youth chief, said that five out of eight locations in the state recorded unhealthy API readings.

“Locations that have unhealthy API readings are Tangkak, Segamat, Batu Pahat, Larkin and Pasir Gudang.

“The air quality in three other locations, such as Kluang, Pengerang and Kota Tinggi is still in the moderate range, but it could reach unhealthy levels as their API readings are almost reaching 100,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

An API reading of zero to 50 indicates that the air quality is good; 51 to 100, moderate; 101 to 200, unhealthy; 201 to 300, very unhealthy; and above 300, hazardous.

Ling urged the public, especially those with respiratory health issues, to wear face masks when going out.

“The public should also reduce or stop their outdoor activities, such as exercising, for the time being. 

“People should also drink plenty of water to avoid getting a sore throat.

“As part of our preparation in anticipation of an increase in haze-related illnesses, public hospitals in Johor are well prepared to treat the people,” he added.

He said those who are feeling unwell should seek immediate medical treatment.

Kumpulan Penggerak Ibu Bapa Komuniti Swasta Nasional chairman Datuk Yahya Jaafar urged parents to ensure their children wear face masks and bring water bottles to school as a precautionary measure in light of the haze.

He added that the group took part in a taskforce meeting with the Education Ministry recently that focused on the present weather condition.

“Due to the hot and hazy condition that is affecting our children, the ministry will soon make an announcement to give authority to the state Education Department or principals to allow students to wear their sports attire to school instead of the normal school uniform.

“This is to make sure that the students feel comfortable while learning in their respective classrooms,” he said.

Businessman Mohd Zaki Supaid, 40, who has a seven-year-old daughter, said his only child recently had a fever and flu.

“After bringing her to a nearby clinic, Alhamdulillah, she is getting better now. But the weather has been hot the last few days, and now, with the haze, it is actually not good to go out.

“Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, I always make sure that my family wears face masks when we visit public areas,” he added.

Housewife V. Devi, 39, said it was very hazy on Saturday, causing itchiness in her eyes and her throat to feel dry.

“The weather has been really hot the last few days, and I’m praying for some rain and strong winds to make the haze go away, so it will be cooler,” she added.

scroll to top