Malaysia has dropped a plan to draft a law aimed at stopping cross-border air pollution, its Environment Ministry said, citing difficulties in obtaining information for prosecutions.
Almost every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia blankets much of the region, leading to public health concerns.
The ministry said on Monday that a diplomatic approach through negotiations was a better way to “collectively address” haze coming across borders.
“To enable the enforcement of a transboundary haze pollution bill, clear evidence that transboundary haze originates from neighboring countries must be supported by sufficient data such as location maps, coordinates, landowner information, and companies operating in the location of fires,” the ministry said.
Such information was difficult to get hold of as it involved matters of confidentiality, security, and national sovereignty, the ministry added.
Last month, Malaysia asked Indonesia and countries in Southeast Asia to take action on the issue when once again the air quality in the country worsened due to the fires in Indonesia.