Northern Haze

The Haze Reaches North

The haze has crept up and enveloped the entire northern region of the country. The last couple of days has been abysmal. Visibility range has been lowered to about 200 metres. Even the night rains failed to scrub the air. Even worse is this cough I am experiencing which started when we went to Kuala Lumpur last month and took a turn for the worse on our way home from Sitiawan after Hari Raya Haji. I joked once that our family motto is Lepas Satu, Satu. In Kuala Lumpur, after we get out of one crisis, it is customary for an even larger crisis to swamp us. I sincerely hoped that this is not one of those instances, now that we are on the brink of being able to live with a small measure of comfort.

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Jalan Duta murk

Murky Depths of the Haze

It’s been some time since I mentioned the haze on this blog. The last time I did it was 10 years ago. In any case, the haze has returned as it is wont to do year upon year upon year. This time it returned with even more of a vengeance than the last. It’s been weeks and the haze does not seem to be going away soon. It cast a murky shade of gray upon everything in Kuala Lumpur during the graduation weekend. The environs of The Mall near the PWTC – now upgraded and renamed Sunway Putra Mall – is thick with the stuff, like heavy mist except for the strong omnipresent smell and taste of smoke. Maybe I should have just gotten the university to send me my degree by mail. The day we headed back to Sitiawan, the haze seemed to be even worse. The view below […]

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New problems too

Haze: Returning With a Vengeance

One of the things I hate most about living here is the periodic invasion of unhealthy particulates that floods (and I mean floods) the entire region, known in local jargon as haze. Once I thought why not call it smog cause that’s what it essentially is, but know I know that such an evil, soul-sucking phenomenon should have its own unique name. Now, I’ve reported this before back in February but that old thing was nothing compared to what we’re experiencing now. This haze should have been declared a major disaster, starting early this week. The haze and I go a long way back. The last major haze activity occurred in 1997, but that was caused by burning in Borneo to the east. West-blowing winds smogged up the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which bore the brunt of the onslaught. Of course I had to be working there at the […]

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View from the balcony

Haze of February 2005

Kuala Lumpur, and most of Malaysia in fact, were wreaked by this local regular event known as the haze. Caused by rampant jungle blazes from local and / or neighbourly sources, these sudden drop in visibility and sudden rise in respiratory problems can be somewhat infuriating. The dark skies over on the left side of the second image was a tell-tale sign of rainfall. But that was what it turned out to be: just a sign. It drizzled a bit about ten klicks away in PJ. Blech.

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