Media Statement by Senai State Assemblywoman and Assistant Publicity Secretary of DAP Women Wing, Wong Shu Qi on 25th June 2013 (Tuesday) in Johor Bahru:

Department of Environment should install air quality monitoring devices in every district to ensure that local residents have access to the latest updated API figures

I’m pleased to see that the Department of Environment is responding promptly to the requests of elected representatives to install a few more air quality monitoring devices in Johor, when previously only four were available in the state to register the air pollutant index (API).

I urge the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to make sure that every district has at least one monitoring device since Johor is a huge state and the distances between the districts are quite large. To ensure public access to the latest API updates, the government should have one monitoring device in every district.

Before the installation of the additional monitoring devices, Johor had four devices installed at Larkin Lama, Kota Tinggi, Muar and Pasir Gudang. The 5 new locations with recently installed devices are Kluang, Mersing, Pontian, Batu Pahat and Segamat.

I hereby call upon the DoE to also install the device in other districts like Kulaijaya, which is the 9th district of Johor. Failing that, the local Education Ministry office and government agencies will have to rely on less accurate data to make important decision which could adversely affect the people.

Kulaijaya is the 4th biggest district by population. With more than 250,000 inhabitants living in Kulaijaya district, DoE has no reasonable grounds to neglect Kulaijaya by not installing the API monitoring device when smaller districts such as Segamat, Pontian and Mersing have already been taken care of.

At the regional level, the haze issue must be addressed at the ASEAN multilateral meeting. At the domestic level, DoE should at least provide accurate, up-to-date data as that information is critical for the people as they go about and plan their daily lives.


Wong Shu Qi