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I hadn’t noticed the smog until the taxi driver mentioned it. We were on our way from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city for a night’s stay before continuing on to Borneo. One of my travelling companions asked if we would be passing any major sights, if so, would he point them out.  The driver’s reply was alarming.  It would be hard to see anything from a distance. The whole city was covered in a smoke haze. It had been like it for weeks.

He explained more. The haze happens every year. It drifts across from Indonesia; from Sumatra and the Kalimantan province of Borneo. It’s caused by ‘slashing and burning’ – a cheap way to clear land. Some farmers might adopt the technique but the finger of blame mainly points to the palm oil producers creating space for yet more plantations. Continue reading