I don't know if you realized it, but the haze did not hit Malaysia this year! Granted, there were a few hazy days, but nothing like the massive blanket of smoke that choked us during the southwest monsoon season in previous years. Just when you thought that the haze was turning into an annual event, it took a break. Forever, I hope.
Now, the interesting thing is, why did the haze not visit this year? Until today, I still don't have a definite knowledge of the cause of the haze. There was so much socio-political shadow play and blame-shifting and speculation over the haze issue in the past years that we the people had the wool pulled over our eyes, or in this case, the haze tearing our eyes.
Were the fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan caused by (Malaysian?) plantation companies clearing land for new plantings? If so, does the absence of the haze mean that they have changed their land clearing methods to zero burning, or perhaps they have already finished clearing all that they need to clear and therefore did not burn anything this year?
Or, if the haze was the work of thousands of individual Indonesian farmers who were clearing their small plots of land for small-scale farming, does the absence of the haze mean that the Indonesian government has succeeded in getting its people not to burn the land? Or is there no remaining forest to burn?
The answer is probably somewhere in between. But we need to know.
We need to know, because it would tell us whether the haze will hit again. It would tell us if the haze did not occur this year because the governments and the people did something right. Or if it was just a random event. By knowing why the haze did not happen this year, we would know better how to prevent it in the future.
Perhaps someone can enlighten me...