21030619 Singapore can pressure Indonesia on haze meh

Yahoo News “PM Lee, ministers up pressure on Indonesia to tackle haze” on June 19 seems to be a joke.

We seem to have forgotten that Singapore is really a little red dot. This issue has dragged on for years and always allowed to die a natural death i.e. when small time farmers and large corporations with vested interests have finished with their burning.

The situation is extremely serious in Indonesia, with the PSI reaching unhuman levels of 400 in the coastal town of Dumai in Riau.

– The situation is extremely serious in Indonesia, many times more than in Singapore.
– The Indonesian government is all the while aware of the culprits.

With PSI at mostly below 100, Singaporeans already cry father, cry mother. Are we so naïve to think that Indonesians are contented to sit down and enjoy their air quality?

When even the Indonesian government has not been able to compel farmers and large corporations, whether due to bribes, to cease such an unhealthy practice over the years, we are deeply mistaken to think our little-red-dot politicians are carrying a big stick.

The Indonesian government has all the while closed both eyes to the yearly burning ritual by farmers. It is not going to spend an extra cent to halt such a practice. So who does it expect to foot the bill for land clearing?

The hidden message to its wealthy neighbours – send us the resources for us to help you reduce your haze problem (it becomes our problem because our economic losses are greater).

So money talks. Our government should have known.

Phillip Ang

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