Business as usual for outdoor workers

JOHOR BARU: It is business as usual for those working outdoors despite the discomfort brought about by the haze in many parts of Johor since Monday.

Food stall operator Nurul Sahidah Abu Bakar, 29, said the haze worsened over the past two days and there was a burning smell in the air.

“We are running our business as usual because people around Pasir Gudang still need to eat, ” she said yesterday.

Nurul Sahidah, who has been operating the shop with her mother Norlia Muhammad, 50, for the past 15 years, said they had gone through worse.

“About four years ago, the haze was much worse. Hopefully, history will not repeat itself or we may have to close our stall because we do not want our food to be contaminated, ” she said.

Father of two Khaibar Mohd Ali, 34, said he feared for his children’s health and was closely monitoring haze updates.

“I have limited my children’s activity outdoors and even when we go out, I will always check the API (Air Pollutant Index) readings first, ” he said.

Southern Johor Fishermen’s Association chairman Azli Mohd Aziz said the industry was not affected by the haze so far as it was not so bad out at sea because of the strong winds.

“Our fishing continues as usual because all of our fishermen usually go out by 4am and all of them conduct their activities at Kuala Sungai Johor, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Tangkak recorded unhealthy air quality with an API reading of 111 at 11.15am.

State Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said due to the unhealthy air quality, all schools in the district were advised to monitor the health of students, especially those sitting for the ongoing UPSR examination.

He also advised those living in Tangkak to take precautions such as wearing a face mask when going outdoors to avoid respiratory problems and to drink enough water to keep their bodies hydrated.

“All parties are prohibited from conducting any open burning as action will be taken by the relevant agencies, ” he said.

He also called on the public to provide information regarding any fire or open burning to the Tangkak district council or the Fire and Rescue Department.

Source: TheStar