Hazards in Malaysia

My hometown of Seremban, Malaysia is not really prone to any major natural disaster. The Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards provided on the website only listed two natural disasters located in Malaysia; heat wave and biohazard. I looked at Kenya’s heat wave phenomenon that’s taking place right now and I immediately relate it to the one that is happening in my country right now. According to the description on both countries, the heat wave occurs due to El Nino. Malaysia has recorded a high 38.5 degree Celcius while in Kenya it was 40.5 degree Celcius, one of the highest recorded in the country in recent weeks. Based on this fact, we could say that the scale/magnitude of the disaster is almost on par, temperature-wise. Apart from that, the local government and meteorology bodies don’t expect much negative impact as the heat wave is very closely monitored and people are continuously updated on the issue, especially on ways to tackle the heat day to day.

One particular hazard that our country faces yearly is haze. In fact, every May/June, many  South East Asian countries had to endure months of excruciating, polluted breathing air. The haze was caused by fires started by by firms and farmers around Kalimantan, Indonesia engaging in illegal slash-and-burn practices as a relatively inexpensive means to clear their land of unwanted vegetation and peat. We had one of the worst one on 2015, especially during the El Nino season.  “32 of the country’s 52 air-quality monitoring stations tipped into the ”unhealthy” range”, forcing schools to close and flights were also delayed and cancelled.



Since the issue involves international parties, I believe that the best way to overcome this problem is to involve politics, more specifically with governance and policy-making. Many of the affected countries had already pressured the Indonesia government to impose a law to prevent intentional open-fire. Malaysia has also opened itself to collaborate with them. According to Malaysian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the MoU would let both countries “assisting and exchange ideas with each other in the case of jungle and peat soil fires while requiring Indonesia to comply with its side of the bargain”.