KUALA LUMPUR: Air quality in Kemaman, Terengganu was recorded as unhealthy at 8am today. According to the Department of Environment (DOE), the area recorded an Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 103.

API levels below 50 are considered good; while that between 51 and 100 is moderate; 101 to 200 is unhealthy; levels between 201 and 300 is very unhealthy; and anything over 300 is said to be hazardous.

At the same time this morning, Indera Mahkota in Kuantan, Pahang recorded an API level of 99, while in Paka, Terengganu, it was at 90, and may escalate. Other states across Malaysia reported moderate API levels of below 100. Over in Tawau, Sabah, air quality was reported to be good, at 49.

The DOE prohibits all open burning, especially at this time. Those who fail to comply will be slapped with fines of not more than RM500,000 or up to five years imprisonment, or both - ref. Sec 29(A) Environmental Quality Act 1974.

Law-abiding citizens are urged to report any open burning activities with the Fire and Rescue Services Department (999) or the DOE (toll-free 1-800-88-2727.