I’ve been in Penang for seven and a half years. The haze situation this year is the worst I have seen.

haze one morning - it's like this most days

haze one morning – it’s like this most days


My plants are suffering.  It has rained a lot, which has helped them. But just one day without rain and some plants look so sick.  After I water their foliage they look better.

Mostly I stay inside. I notice if I go outside for any length of time – including driving – my brain feels gummed up. I can’t think straight, and react slowly.

The newspapers say Indonesian farmers are responsible, if I understand correctly, as burning is the cheapest way to clear jungle or old palm oil plantations.  Is this true?  This has happened for years and governments appear to have achieved nothing.

Perhaps a few people should get together, check how to sue those responsible. If this is possible, then hire someone to get the evidence, and sue the people the evidence shows to be responsible.  The damages are huge – the population of Singapore, and the west coast of Malaysia are all suffering.

If there are people who are demonstrably sick, and if any company in Indonesia also has a presence in Malaysia, I would have thought they could sue the company under common law. I imagine Indonesia is civil law, but Malaysia is common law.

Today is Sunday. Outside nothing is moving. It’s very quiet and eerie.  Just the haze.




  1. i heard that the fire is burning underground in indonesia, and it is this fire that flares up around this time, when the rains in indonesia lessen. the fire is dampened during the rainy season, but flares up again when the dry season takes hold. it is impossible to douse the fire completely that is why there is no solution to this. the haze will continue and nothing that the indonesians can do about it.

    1. I haven’t heard this before. How can it burn underground? The media said here yesterday that four companies are responsible. And a friend saw a BBC programme that said the responsible companies are Malaysian and Singaporean. And that in Singapore people are starting to band together to take action against the companies. I don’t really know the truth, but yesterday and today were a bit better – a bit clearer.

      1. i think the govt, and everyone else, even the bbc, wants to find a scapegoat, just to make people feel they are doing something. a message that says it is what it is, nothing we can do about it, but let nature take its course, is not going to make people like that message. people want someone to get the blame. and everyone wants the haze to be gone. the fires will still burn, but the haze might be gone once the rains start.

      2. It’s actually been raining an awful lot, but it has only sometimes cleared the haze. Still, it’s very late in the year for haze and it might clear up.

      3. oh, so even the rain is not clearing the haze. that is bad. makes me glad i am in london. this morning it is bright blue cloudless sky and there a lots of days like this.do you think the shopping malls in malaysia, singapore,will get good business, as people will go there more often to escape the haze?

    2. I dont think that the fires burn underground as much as it is that the topsoil has a pretty deep layer of peat. When the plantation owners use slash and burn to remove the old crop, the peat also starts on fire and peat burns with a smoldering smoky fire.

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