Malaysia: Committee to be formed to tackle heat wave


KUALA LUMPUR: A committee to look into ways to deal with the effects of the heat wave is expected to be formed soon.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ministry would be meeting related agencies including Ministries of Education; and Energy, Green Technology and Water; as well as Meteorological Department to discuss on the matter.

"We can't take the heat wave lightly and it has been said that the El Nino phenomenon will continue for a few years.

"I have given instructions to my officers to have the meeting later this week.

We already have a national committee to address the haze problem, so there should be one on heat wave," he said when met at the Parliament lobby earlier.

He had earlier told the Dewan Rakyat that the Cabinet had agreed on the amendments of laws related to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) laws and these would be tabled in the parliament soon.

"Under the existing laws, findings and products from the researches carried out by the ministry through agencies like FRIM in collaboration with universities, for instance, could not be shared (publicly).

So, we are looking into amending the laws and have received the go-ahead from the Cabinet a few months ago," he said in responding to a question by Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong).

It’s too hot for school
The Star 14 Mar 16;

KLANG: The Education Ministry will decide if schools should be temporarily closed due to the heatwave, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan.

He said the relevant authorities were monitoring the situation closely and would consider the option if it became too hot when schools reopen later.

“Since it is the school holidays now, children could stay indoor and minimise outdoor activities until the schools reopen next week.

“However, we will consider closing schools if the need arises,” he said when met after attending a youth dance programme here yesterday.

Kamalanathan was asked if public schools would be advised to close following the current hot spell that could bring a heatwave and the forecast of scorching heat on March 20, a day before the schools reopen.

He said that right now, a ministry’s standard circular allowed school administrators to decide based on the existing standard procedures.

“The circular empowers the principals and headmasters that under such instances when the weather is too hot, they can take action such as stop having classes outdoor.

“Considering that the weather is worse now, we will make sure the relevant information is updated and sent to all state Education Departments directors within these two days.

“They can then advise all school principals and headmasters to prevent students from getting involved in outdoor activities at school if it gets too hot when the schools reopen later,” he said, adding that schools in the other countries actually shut down during heatwave attacks.

Kamalanathan noted that the Education Ministry would be gui­ded by the standards set by the Environment Ministry on whether to close schools or not when it gets too hot.

“They have the expertise, which we do not have.

“Once we get the needed information from them, we will decide on the next course of action,” he said.

Kamalanathan also added that meetings with all relevant ministries and agencies were ongoing to discuss issues concerning schools and students welfare.

Air-con sales see a surge in hot weather
The Star 14 Mar 16;

GEORGE TOWN: With the rising temperatures, air conditioner units are literally flying off from electrical shops as demand surges.

Best Point Furniture & Electric Sdn Bhd operating manager Kelvin Pang said there had been a 30% increase in sale of air conditioning and air cooling devices since the start of March.

“We expect this to increase to 50%, as is usually the case this time of the year,” he added.

Pang said besides air conditioners, people were also buying air coolers and fans.

“We have been selling between three and five air conditioners every day since the beginning of the month, from the usual one or two units,” he added.

A part-time air condition installer, who only wished to be known as Soon, said customers were getting desperate in the current climate.

“Some are willing to fork out extra money for the air conditioners to be installed at their homes as soon as possible.

“But we are also hard pressed looking for time-slots,” he said.

He also added that installers were working till late in the day to cope with the increasing demand.

Housewife Lily Tan said she decided to buy an air conditioner and air cooler after her children complained that the heat was getting unbearable.

“We were used to living without any air cooling devices before this, but this time the heat is unusually hot,” she added.

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