21 Juni 2013

Rl Dodges Haze Blame Game

June 20, pi

Amid criticism from Malaysia and Singapore, over the cross-border haze and deteriorating air quality affecting the two countries, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa talked tough on the issue, saying that ASEAN members should collaborate to address the situation rather than lay blame.

The approach must be one of collaboration and partnership, not one of apportioning blame here and there. Lets focus on putting the fires out, Marty told a press conference.

Numerous hot spots created by slash-and-burn activities by several agricultural firms operating in Sumatra, particularly in Riau province, have reportedly resulted in thick haze over Singapore and some parts of Malaysia.

Your comments:

So, the annual haze has made a comeback and people are advised to remain indoors. The polluters have justified their burning method as cheap and economical. Ash will become fertilizer.

Long suffering Sumatrans continue to suffer daily discomfort ajnd many have to go outdoors to work. Their health will be affected.

The trans-boundary pact on prevention of haze has yet to be signed by Indonesia. Surely the scientists and agriculture experts can come bp with a solution.

Sumatra has such huge expanse of vegetation and carbon-rich peatland. Encourage investment and modernize farming methods using tractors. Surely, the green movement will be willing to play a part.

Indonesia, having a rich cultural heritage and a hospitable nature, knows deep in its heart that with assistance the haze issue will not happen anymore.
Tank KT

Singapore and Malaysia should offer fire fighters to put the fires out. I wonder what the response to that would be.
Shone Thacker

There is actually no need for such a demand. We are fully aware of the impact and consequences and the need for action, Marty added.

But the fact is, nothing tangible has been done to combat the issue. Year after year Indonesians, Singaporeans and Malaysians fall sick when the haze issue resurfaces.

I cant imagine how the poor folks living in Riau are coping. My sore throat is killing me as I type this. I remember commenting in The Jakarta Post several years ago when I fell sick due to the haze.

I remember the minister said something similar about how we shouldnt blame his ministry for the problem. Years later, nothing much has been done to punish the perpetrators, nor has Indonesia ratified the pollution treaty. Its really disheartening.

Im from Malaysia. And thanks to you guys, my life expectancy is going down due to the annual haze. But then, youre such awesome neighbors who just dont care.
Jack Lim

Singapore needs to voice concerns through proper channels and not conduct or engage in megaphone diplomacy. Singapore has no moral authority to instruct R[ to disclose name lists because Singapore itself has been reluctant to disclose name lists of companies that RI has requested from Singapore.

This has been going on for years I lived in Singapore 20 years ago and it was the same then. Does Indonesia care? The answer is just a big no.

We have a hard time finding the culprits; because of the haze.

It is a shame that Indonesia cant stop this or is there no will to act? Why? Evidently, the whole establishment is too corrupt. Indonesia must be responsible for what is happening there.

Indonesia should be responsible if investment companies are carrying out illegal burning then it is up to Indonesian authorities to stop it and prosecute.
Duncan Tan

Surat pembaca diambil dari Jakarta Post tanggal 21 Juni 2013.