The air quality is good today, Sep 21, for all areas in the country. This is attributed to the number of hotspots vastly reduced in northern Sumatra and areas of Kalimantan near Sarawak on the Borneo island. The wind direction is a big help here.
This time every year (September), Malaysia has to put up with some bad air quality. Today I think is the worst Air Pollution Index reading so far. But I have yet to see anyone donning a face mask. However, the haze could be a challenge for people with respiratory problems, young children and senior folks.
To give you a better picture of what I'm saying, below is the API for today courtesy of DOE Malaysia.
As you can see, the bottom half of the peninsula on the west coast is experiencing unhealthy air quality - indicated by yellow. A reading of between 100 to 200 is considered unhealthy. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is smack in this region.
Dry weather conditions and land-clearing (for planting) by open burning in Sumatra (Indonesia) is the source of this annual bother. Sumatra is just across the body of water (The Straits of Malacca) from Malaysia, so it's small wonder that we get the brunt of the smoke aided by the south-westerly monsoon winds. (A little digression here - there are boats plying bother shores just to give you an idea of the proximity between both lands.)
Over in East Malaysia, Kuching (109 reading) and neighbouring towns in Sarawak are also experiencing the same fate - as can be seen on the image above.
So, if you are visiting Malaysia this time of the year, expect some intermittent hazy weather conditions though ours may not be as bad as sandstorms of the Middle-east (a recent one just two days ago, for instance) or the (perennial) haze over in Beijing.
On the hand, what's not to love about Malaysia! There's shopping (lots of it), there's food (lots of it to try too), plenty to see and do. By the way, our next festival coming up is the Mooncake Festival also known as the Lantern Festival locally. This falls on 27 September.
Retail petrol prices of RON95, RON97 and diesel saw a dip of 10 sen a litre from midnight.
The new prices will see RON95 retailed at RM2.05, RON97 at RM2.45 and diesel at RM1.95 per litre.
Malaysians no longer enjoy fuel subsidy. Fuel prices are now determined monthly based on market price. However, prices here are still lower than the prices at both our immediate neighbouring countries.
Here in Malaysia, the price of petrol is the same across the country meaning to say wherever you fill your tank in any part of the country, the petrol price is the same.
Two types of petrol are sold in Malaysia, RON95 and RON97. The latter being the premium grade is the petrol available to foreign vehicles in the country.
KOTA KINABALU, June 5 — The magnitude 6.0 earthquake which hit Sabah’s west coast here this morning has left an unknown number of climbers stranded on Mount Kinabalu, close to the epicentre of the quake. More..
KOTA KINABALU, June 5 — A magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Sabah’s west coast here this morning, with tremors felt all over the state’s capital city here.
According to earthquake watch website, the earthquake’s epicentre was located 14km north of the Ranau, about a two-hour drive over mountain roads from Kota Kinabalu.
Tremors were felt around the city and on Mount Kinabalu at around 7.15am, where it was reported several landslides have occurred. More..
More than 200 people are stranded on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, with 89 unaccounted for after a 6.0 earthquake that struck this morning left the trekking path down the mountain unsafe for climbers. 89 missing on Mount Kinabalu after earthquake
Malaysia though outside the Ring of Fire does experience earthquakes. The Ring of Fire is a belt of seismic activity running around the basin of the Pacific Ocean that includes neighbours Indonesia and the Philippines. It has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt. About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.
The ringgit is expected to weaken to the 4.00-level versus the US dollar in the next six months as investors anticipate a hike in the benchmark US federal funds rate.
The hike may come earlier than anticipated after recent indicators show growth has visibly strengthened in the world’s largest economy.
The ringgit has fallen to the lowest level in the last six years and closed at 3.73 to the US dollar yesterday as concerns mount over the Malaysian economy’s exposure to commodities following the drop in crude oil, palm oil and rubber prices.