Friday, October 02, 2015

Indonesia refuses help offered by Singapore to deal with haze

Indonesian officials clarified that they had enough resources and did not need to call on assistance offered by Singapore to deal with haze at this time during the meeting with Singaporean delegates, said Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) on Friday.

A small team of Singaporean officials, led by Permanent Secretary Choi Shing Kwok of MEWR, met with Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Gen (Retd) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Head of National Disaster Management Agency Willem Rampangilei in Jakarta on Thursday.

The meeting was convened at the invitation of the Indonesian side, said MEWR. Singapore delegation was briefed on the measures being undertaken by the Indonesian government in Sumatra and Kalimantan to tackle land and forest fires that are causing haze in Singapore and the region.

Singapore reiterated and explained its offer of assistance to tackle the fires, including the provision of one Chinook helicopter to conduct water bombing and one C-130 aircraft for cloud-seeding operations. However, Indonesia clarified that it had enough resources of its own and did not need to call on assistance offered by Singapore at this time, said MEWR in a statement.

The meeting also discussed law enforcement actions by Indonesia against errant companies. Singapore explained how its Transboundary Haze Pollution Act allows it to take legal action against offenders who cause transboundary haze in Singapore to supplement Indonesia's actions while respecting Indonesia's sovereignty.

Singapore also reiterated and explained its request for Indonesia to share information that could help identify companies suspected of causing such fires. NEWR said the request has being considered by the Indonesian side who will respond in due course.

   Xinhua -


1 comment:

  1. Indonesia's president has asked for international assistance to put out forest fires that have sent a thick haze over the region...

    After refusing offers of help from Singapore, Joko Widodo said he had now accepted.

    He said he also wanted help from Russia, Malaysia and Japan.

    The forest fires are the result of annual slash-and-burn practises by companies clearing land for palm oil and pulp wood plantations.

    They are burning mainly on Sumatra island and Indonesia's part of Borneo island, both above ground and underneath the peat-rich soil.
    'We need planes'

    In a statement on the cabinet secretary website, Mr Jokowi confirmed Indonesian had asked for and received help from Singapore.

    "We hope this will speed up the process because fires on peat land is different from regular forest fires," he said.

    "What we need now are planes that can carry 12-15 tonnes of water, not like the 2-3 tonnes we have now," he said.

    The haze has pushed air quality to dangerous, and sometimes hazardous, levels across parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand.

    On the worst days, school have been closed and some flights affected.


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