08 October 2006

Capitalizing on the haze

Kuala Lumpur: Despite the dismay and horror of many Malaysians at the annual haze from the forests fires in Indonesia, enterprising business people are taking steps to capitalize on the haze.

An enterprising photo stall owner, Mr Chiong Kaw Kaw, when met at his booth at Petaling Street, has been selling posters and postcards of the annual haze. He showed our reporters postcards of what he claims to be KLCC, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, and other prominent KL landmarks when shrouded in haze. The reporters were unable to verify his claims that the postcards indeed were of the landmarks during the haze season because the photos are totally grey. Mr Chiong, 36, from Cheras reported that sales have been brisk. The majority of postcards are sold to foreign tourists, who are said to be enjoying the sights of the haze. Posters are usually sold to local teenagers, who claim that the haze is helping them save money because they no longer need to buy ciggarettes.

The Sepang F1 grandprix organizers are also said to be mulling a move to reschedule the grandprix to the haze season. The organizers claim that the idea would be a great way to promote the haze, which is turning into a tourist attraction. They have even come up with the catchy phrase "Race in the Haze" to sell the race. If the FIA, the world governing body for the motorsport agrees to the move, the organizers said they will be distributing eye drops and face masks to the spectators during the entire race. Race drivers are said to be supportive of the move, which could create a spectacle for spectators. Expect crashes as visibility drops, and engine blow ups due to clogged air filters.

A few ingenious tour operators in Kuantan have also started to offer Haze season promotions. Encik Bulat bin Benjol, from Etika Jerebu Sdn. Bhd., a Kuantan based tour operator told reporters here that he had noticed an increase of inquiries from foreign tourists about the haze, "So, I decided to offer them tours to see and smell the unique annual phenomenon". For around RM3,000, his company will take tourists to haze affected areas to allow them to experience the uniquely South East Asian haze for 2 days. At the end of each day, to allow them to fully appreciate the experience, they will also get a full body traditional massage in the open air. "The haze particles in the air, when exposed to the skin, will clog up the pores, and cause inflammation. This is a unique way to darken the skin ... No need to tan, which could be damaging", claims En. Bulat. His company also offers 50% refunds to customers if the haze fails to materialize.

The Tourism Malaysia in New York is also agressively promoting the haze season as a mustn't miss attraction for Visit Malaysia Year 2007. An upsurge in enquiries have been made to the representative office and also to tour operators, indicating a high level of interest. Tour operators have been asking the government if it is possible to make a request to the Indonesian government to allow more open burning, and to also extend the haze period. This will create a longer, more severe haze, which should attract more visitors and will contribute immensely to the tourism and hospitality industry. Mr Hazicus Maximus, a tour operator specializing in South East Asian eco-tourism told reporters in his Manhattan office that many Americans who live in cities with good air quality are interested in experiencing choking haze and polluted air. His tour agency has also taken advantage of the situation by selling health insurance and air purification solutions to customers.

However, not everyone is happy with the haze. Cigarette companies have reported a drastic drop in sales coinciding with the haze. Industry analyst, Mr. Asapmanyak Malapetaka, told reporters that this is likely due to the fact that many smokers can now satisfy their craving simply by breathing in. The smoke from the haze, while not as high quality or concentrated as cigarette smoke, does contain the basic toxins found in cigarette smoke. Thus, smokers who aren't highly addicted could actually get their high from the haze. Mr. Asapmanyak, however, indicated that there is an upside - once the haze is over, many people who did not smoke before the haze, might start smoking, as a result of haze withdrawal.

- reported by Moz Monster.


earl-ku said...

haha, i was into it up to the FI part lol ...


angel said...

waa... moz can work at Daily Planet liao :P

ps: how's beta blogger?

pps: in Sg, take care hor ;)

Jemima said...

You write better than any of those haze critics in our local dailies. :p

Enjoy Singapore. Hope that the haze will be gone when you get there.

Take care, my friend. HUGS!

Jemima said...

Angel: Moz can write better than Lois Lane. Hehe

Hmmm..where is Superman? With one big blow of his breath, the haze will be totally gone. ;)

Malaysian Food Review said...

wah...like that also can....well done la

moz monster said...

earl-kuku: *rolls red carpet* .... wah ... the man himself is here !!!!

Thanks ... the idea was to parody the whole situation.

angel: Beta Blogger rawks !!! So many good stuff !!! Wah ... me work in Daily Planet - cannot lah ... Clark Kent will crush me.

jemima: Yeah, where is superman when you need him? In Bolehland, we have "Tak Apa Man", "Boleh Man", "Tak Aci Man" and "Tak Ada Komen Man" only ... =(

malaysian food review: Thank you, Thank you.

Gab said...

so p(f)unny.
almost had me believing it's something frm the media.

Che-Cheh said...

Weh me too man...almost kena by you! The F1 part gaves you away. :P and the naming of people...aiyooo

Funny post. :P

Inevitable said...

I have only 2 words for those fucker , Fogged You!!!

Now I have to tend to my running nose...

moz monster said...

gab: Heehe .... =)

che-cheh: The names purposely one lah .... ayoyooooo ... if not, you'd be thinking it's from the news !!!

inevitable: Make sure you catch your nose before it runs away for good !!!!

Inevitable said...

Singabloodypoh got haze or not ah? Why not bising from them one?

moz monster said...

tak dapat di elak: Haze is minimal ... after last Saturday when PSI was 150, things have died down. A little hazy today, but compared to KL, it's very, very, good.