Just like in the old days, barter trade is still alive in this part of the world. In Malaysia, this ancient mode of trade is practised between Malaysian traders on the coastal towns on the west coast of the peninsula and traders of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Muar town aka Bandar Maharani in the southern state of Johore, on the Malaysian west coast, is one of the towns engaged in barter trade with traders from Sumatra plying their wares daily in boats along the narrow Straits of Malacca.
Business has been affected these past few days due to the haze that is shrouding the west coast of Malaysia. The haze is brought on due to the open burning in Sumatra. Every year between June and September, weather conditions deteriorate caused by this man-made haze as a result of land-clearing activities. The thick smog is brought over to the peninsula by the south-westerly monsoon winds this time of the year.
In view of low visibility, Marine police here have warned all barter-trading vessels plying the Straits of Malacca to refrain from navigating the waterway at night due to the haze.
The picture above is of Muar town along the Muar river. It shows a bleary sight with the haze covering buildings along Sungai Muar yesterday morning. (Sungai is the local Malay term for River).
Have you been to Muar town? Find out more about this old town from my weekend visit to Muar town Part 1 and A Weekend Visit to Muar Town Part 2.
Source: The Star..‘Don’t go out to Straits of Malacca at night’
UPDATE: Muar’s 200 schools to close temporarily from today’s afternoon session
All afternoon session schools in Muar have been directed to temporarily close following hazardous air pollutant index (API) readings recorded in the area on Thursday.
State education director Mohd Nor A. Ghani said that the API reading had touched 337 and a directive had been issued for schools to close if the reading surpassed 300.
He said, however, that students in the morning session would not be allowed to return home until the session was formally over.
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