The haze has returned in several areas in the Klang Valley, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan today, following the increasing number of hotspots in Indonesia, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the situation was influenced by transboundary haze due to land and forest fires in central Sumatra brought by Southwest Monsoon winds.

According to reports from ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre based in Singapore yesterday, the number of hotspots in Indonesia had been increasing since several days ago, he said.

"Through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 19 satellite images, 48 hotspots were identified in Sumatra and 49 in Kalimantan," Wan Junaidi said in a statement to Bernama today.

The statement was issued after haze was reported in the Klang Valley since this afternoon.

He said the Department of Environment (DOE) was closely monitoring the air quality trend every hour as several hotspots were still seen in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

"This situation may lead to transboundary haze pollution moving to the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak" he added.

In addition, Wan Junaidi said three hotspots have been spotted the peninsula, one in Pahang and two in Sarawak which were to be investigated and acted upon.

"All parties are reminded to refrain from open burning or to leave their land and premises to be occupied or encroached by irresponsible parties who purposely cause open burning for specific purposes," he said.

According to Section 29 (A) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, those convicted of carrying out open burning are subject to a fine not exceeding RM500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

A maximum fine of RM2,000 would be imposed for each offence, added Wan Junaidi.

He urged the public to work together in extinguishing small fires and to report on open burning or fires to the Fire and Rescue Service Department at 999 and DOE at toll-free line 1-800-88-2727.

As at 2 pm this afternoon, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam recorded Air Pollution Index (API) readings of 79 and 67 respectively while Cheras recorded 58.

An API reading of between 0 and 50 is considered good, 51 to 100 moderate, 101 to 200 unhealthy, 201 to 300 very unhealthy and 300 and above, hazardous.