(Air Pollution Index – why is is being kept secret when it is crucial in informing the citizen on the actual condition of the air pollution in the country. Image source: http://pdsblogs.org)
There is a lot quarters crying out to the Government for the API reading and the DPM confidently inform that the Government has no plans to release the API reading. Luckily Pak Lah had a better sense of rakyat’s feeling and decided to lift the ban on API reading with immediate effect.
Now the ban is uplifted, Jeff Ooi has a good question on where to check the API readings. So, the upliftment of the ban may still have some teething problems. We are not out of the woods yet.
The question is why keep the readings as a secret in the first place? You can hide the readings but you cannot hide the haze. Assuming Pak Lah did not do the sensible thing, would the Government been agreed to reveal the API reading only after these things happened?
1. A MAS 777 with 350 passenger crashes in KLIA due to poor visibility and the death toll was high (The stewardess was unfortunately had little time to throw down the tray and knell down to pray. It happened too fast).
2. Two large oil tankers collides near Port Klang due to poor visibility and sank causing one of the biggest oil spills to hit Malaysia shores (Indonesia shores was surprisingly spared of this disaster)
3. Thousands of school children in several schools was warded in the hospital for severe breathing problem as their school was unaware the severity of the air pollution (a case of “tak apa” from the school officials and education authorities)
4. 50 cars piled up along Federal Highway near the Istana Negara due to poor visibility (another 20 cars piled up on the other side of the road when some of them slowed down to see the accident)
5. The national productivity drops by almost 50% due to too many people calling in sick or slowed down (count me in into the statistics)
6. Tun Mahathir holds a press conference on the API issue and…(well you all know rest of the story)
Luckily the API reading was revealed before such things happened. In case, you want additional information, you can check visibility observation reports here.