Malaysia covered in thick haze from forest burning in Indonesia
The thick so-called "haze," caused by slash-and-burn clearances on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, has pushed air quality to unhealthy levels in Malaysia and neighbouring Singapore. Reuters

Indonesia's land clearing and forest fire brought back the haze in Malaysia, says the Environment Ministry in Kuala Lumpur. Cities in the country have recorded moderate to high API (air pollutant index) readings in the past few days.

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, The Natural Resources and Environment Minister, said that the forest fire in Indonesia's Kalimantan and Sumatra is the reason for the haze. He also said that he will be informing the neighbouring country about the environmental hazard.

"We don't want to pick a fight but we just want to notify them that the haze is back," he said, as reported by The Straits Times.

"It hasn't reached critical stage but I will write a letter to Indonesia Forestry and Environment minister (Dr Siti Nurbaya Bakar) to tell her that the haze is coming here," he added.

However, Junaidi praised the country for taking substantial effort to control the forest fire. He said that Indonesia was swift in taking action but unfortunately could not stop the smoke from creating haze.

On August 17, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Madius Tangau warned people of dry weather conditions and said that this will be prevalent till south-west monsoon hits in.

"The south-westerly wind is expected to persist until the end of the week. As such, should the transboundary haze persist or local burning activities occur, hazy weather conditions could be expected in our country," Mr Tangau told TODAY Online.

The haze has become a persisting problem in the country and its neighbouring areas. Junaidi also informed last week that Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) members have given nod to a roadmap to ensure the region is free from transboundary haze by 2020.