Malaysia has shut most schools nationwide for two days to protect children from a thick noxious haze caused by smoke from burning forests in neighbouring Indonesia.
The air pollutant index hit the hazardous level in Shah Alam, the capital of central Selangor state, and was very unhealthy in many other areas, prompting authorities to order the closure of schools on Monday and Tuesday.
The poor visibility forced several airports to be closed for hours on Sunday. A popular annual marathon in Kuala Lumpur was also cancelled.
Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi said Jakarta's efforts to crack down on the sources of open burning by farmers were not enough. He said Indonesia should seek more help from its South East Asian neighbours to tackle the haze, which is an annual problem.
The forest fires that cause the haze have been an annual occurrence since the late 1990s. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced stricter punishment for those engaged in open burning, but said his government would need three years to solve the problem. The offenders are mostly palm oil plantations, as well as pulp and paper companies.
Malaysia's national news agency, Bernama, quoted Mr Zahid as saying that Malaysia welcomes the measures announced by Mr Widodo, but that "three years is too long."
"We hope its commitment is not only on paper or mere statements pleasant to the ears, but through implementation which could end all haze problems," Mr Zahid said.
Malaysia's Meteorological Department, however, reported good news, forecasting that the haze would clear from Saturday with the start of the monsoon season.
On Monday, haze was also reported in the southern Thai provinces of Songkhla, Trang, Yala and Pattani, which are closest to Malaysia. While no pollution readings were immediately available, the haze was causing reduced visibility.