Singaporeans and Malaysians react to the haze with humour, because what else can we do?

Teng Yong Ping
Lifestyle Editor
Otters in Singapore photoshopped to wear masks as haze enshrouds Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. (Source: Facebook/Omni Channel)

SINGAPORE — The haze enshrouding the Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore has reached hazardous proportions, thanks to smoke from burning plantations on Sumatra and Borneo.

You know the situation has reached crisis level when Spotify releases a playlist of songs around the theme of the haze (titles include Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5 and We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel.)

On Wednesday (18 Sept), Malaysia closed over 1,200 schools as the air quality deteriorated to "very unhealthy" levels on the government's air pollutant index, while in Singapore, the pollutants standard index indicated “unhealthy” air, and Formula One organisers feared that the race this weekend would be affected.

The people of the region have grown somewhat accustomed to this semi-regular assault on our respiratory systems, and netizens have taken to defusing the tension with jokes and memes about the smog. Below is a selection of some of the funniest jokes circulating online:

Malaysia actually uses the API or air pollutants index to measure haze levels, not Singapore's PSI or pollutants standard index, but this joke is still funny lah:

Don't fret, Indonesian president Jokowi has vowed to crack down on unethical plantation owners. (Source: Facebook/KMFST)

Häagen-Dazs ice cream also kena pulled in for a joke.

People have created songs about the haze too: