Malaysia has stepped up pressure on neighbouring Indonesia to tackle huge blazes tearing through its rainforests and smothering Southeast Asia in smog, as fires typically started to clear land for crops send diplomatic tensions soaring. Burning forests to make way for farming is also thought to be behind the enormous fires currently ripping through the Amazon in South America, and experts believe they could have a serious impact on the global climate. Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin expressed concerns about the impact of the smog and offered assistance to Jakarta to fight the fires during a meeting with Indonesian officials Tuesday, according to a statement. An official in Sarawak state on Borneo — where air quality dropped to very unhealthy levels this week — was less diplomatic, demanding Indonesia send face masks and medical supplies to Malaysia for those affected by the pollution. “Until they suffer economically, they will not take our complaints seriously,” Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing was cited as saying by the Malay Mail news portal on Wednesday. “The Indonesian government must bear the full brunt of responsibility of the haze in Sarawak.” Air quality also plummeted to unhealthy levels in Kuala Lumpur this week… Read full this story
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