Haze has returned to Sibu and Law Hieng Ding should take immediate action to respond to Mahathir's recent call for an end to "secrecy syndrome" and make public the  Air Pollution Index

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): I have received an email from Sibu expressing the grave concern of the people of Sibu about their children's health as a result of the return of the haze.

The email, which called for help from the government and in particular the Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, Datuk Law Hieng Ding, said that visibility in Sibu was less than half a KM yesterday morning and that the people were "suffocating due to haze".

The Sibu email said that the haze is "more of a localised burning but the media here said it is originated from Kalimantan". He said he had been told by his friends  from the rural areas that "many rich and powerful people have the land cleared from oil palm plantation".

The first thing that Law Hieng Ding should do is to remove the Air Pollution Index (API) from under the cover of the Official Secrets Act, and to make it publicly several a times a day so that the people know where they stand with regard to the haze.

It was only a few days ago that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad spoke of the need for the public and private sectors to break out of the "secrecy syndrome" in order to keep abreast with the changes of an information age.

Let the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment respond to the Prime Minister's speech at the Second Global Knowledge Conference three days ago  by declassiflying the API and put the API readings on the Internet.

While Malaysians support  tourist promotion to bring in  tourist revenue, this cannot be at the expense of the health and welfare of the citizens of Malaysia, particularly of the next generation.

Law Hieng Ding should make a Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday on  the haze threat and in particular,  the haze situation afflicting the peole of Sibu.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman