"What is wrong is the government were to give out free face masks at the worst-hit places?" he said.

'More concrete action needed'

Adding on, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said this would be Pakatan's first priority when Parliament convenes.

"This will be our major first move in Parliament," he said.

He said the cabinet committee must immediately convene a meeting to address the problem.

"Based on experience, the cabinet committee would immediately convene and all machinery would be immediately mobilised and whatever measures necessary will be taken even if it means the fire brigade spraying water off buildings," said Anwar who is former deputy prime minister.

He also urged action against any Malaysian companies that had a role in the fires in Indonesia that has seen neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore engulfed in smog.

Anwar also noted that Palanivel had said he will meet his Indonesian counterpart on the haze crisis next Wednesday which he said was too late. 


Make sure DOE website works

Meanwhile, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang called on Palanivel as well as Najib to immediately meet their Indonesian counterpart on the worsening crisis and not wait until next Wednesday.

He also called on the Department of Environment (DOE) to ensure its website displaying the air pollutant index (API) is well maintained because it went offline for a few hours today.

Meanwhile, Kuala Krai MP Dr Hatta Ramli urged the Health Ministry to be fully prepared as people are expected to come down with respiratory illnesses.

"The Health Ministry must be highly prepared to receive people with health complications such as respiratory tract infection, it needs to give confidence to everyone that all services is available.

"In Muar example (worst hit area), the Health Ministry must be in full force and more staff should be deployed if necessary," he said.

At 7am today, the API in Muar skyrocketed to more than double the hazardous level, at 746. The figure has since dropped slightly.

According to the DOE, the API bands are categorised as such Good (0-50), Moderate (51-100), Unhealthy (101-200), Very Unhealthy (201-300) and Hazardous (301 and above).-malaysiakini