Tuesday, 13 October 2015

by Seth Ng Jun-Jie, Junior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2017

Photo Credit : todayonline.com
Those in Malaysia should know not only of the broiling hot temperatures but also the annual experience of murky, suspended haze that lasts for months. This year, the haze condition has seemed to worsen compared to previous years, causing schools around Malaysia to close down every week or so. This haze takes the game Hide and Seek to a whole new level with its unknown mysterious disapp

earance and reappearance from time to time.
Photo Credit : Today Online
As most of us know, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries experience the haze because of the slash-and-burn practices done by Indonesian farmers. Upon harvesting their crops, many Indonesian farmers choose to burn old trees to ash than to cut the trees down.  Burning is cheap and has an immediate widespread effect on its surroundings. The downfall of this, however, is the dust and ash accumulated by this procedure, which mixes with the air to form the acrid, yellow-tinged concoction we know as haze. Malaysia is one of the worst affected countries by the haze and we definitely aren’t happy with it.
Malaysia's schools have already closed 3 times within a month's time with the possibility of more days closed to come. Students don’t seem to mind as they get a few extra days to relax in the comfort of their homes. Despite the nationwide government school closure, however, some schools remain open. As for Cempaka Schools, we take the matters into our hands with our own home schooling program, Cempaka@Home, via Schoology. Not even ghastly hazes can stop us Cempakans from continuing to learn and study, truly living up to the motto ‘Nothing is impossible’. But more on that on a separate article.
Many people have taken precautions and have chosen to wear face masks for the benefit of their health. The masks help filter the air for us, and remove the fine particles of dirt and dust. With so many people nationwide wearing them, Malaysia seems to have a new addition of low-budget stormtroopers roaming around the country. Many health-conscious parents give their children these masks but the kids usually don’t like wearing them as many seem visually unappealing. Even so, these masks are an extremely useful device to us at times like these.
The random occurrence of the haze throughout these few months has left many wondering if and when it will end. As of the 4th of October, 2015, the highest API (Air Pollution Index) reading recorded by Malaysian API detection devices this year has been a record 308* (hazardous) in Shah Alam,Selangor. Despite being designed to be accurate, many believe that the API electronics detect the air pollutant levels inaccurately.

Malaysia is really unlucky for its bad weather. But whether it’s the heavy thunderstorms, the steaming hot sun or the increasingly common smoky haze, we all still manage to pull through. We can overcome anything, and as the old saying goes; when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
by Nicholas Tan 23:03 17 comments


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