Jakarta: Indonesia, Malaysia in close contact over haze

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019

JOHOR BARU: The Indonesian government has been in contact with their Malaysian counterparts following the haze situation, says Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs's South-East Asian Affairs director Denny Abdi.

He said the two governments were coordinating on the matter which was affecting both countries and peoples.

“Our government has its own resources where we have deployed almost 30,000 people on the ground and 50 helicopters conducting aerial water-bombing to put out the fire.

“Putting out the fire is not easy as the affected area is big but both countries, through environment ministers, are communicating with one another, ” he added.

Denny said this when met after he attended a business meeting and networking session organised by the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia held at a hotel here on Tuesday (Sept 17).

He stressed that Indonesia would ask its neighbours for help in handling the haze if necessary, but at the moment, they had their own resources and were able to contain the situation.

On reports claiming Malaysian companies were involved in the fire, Denny said the Indonesian government did not differentiate companies whether foreign or national.

“Whoever that breaks the law by deliberately starting the fire just to clear the land, which is the cheapest way, will face our law.

“No matter if they are Malaysian-owned companies or even Indonesian companies because our government will take action against them, ” he said.

It was reported that Indonesia has blamed four Malaysian companies for causing some of the forest fires within its borders.

Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar was reported as saying that at least four plantation companies which land had been sealed off because fires, were subsidiaries of Malaysian firms.

The Indonesian government reportedly sealed off plantations operated by at least 30 companies, including the four Malaysian ones.

Meanwhile a check on the Air Pollutant Index (API) showed Segamat to be the worst hit with 152, followed by Tangkak (129), Batu Pahat (113), Kluang (106), Larkin (97), Pasir Gudang (88), Pengerang (79), and Kota Tinggi (75).

An API reading of between 0 and 50 is good; 51 to 100 (moderate); 101 to 200 (unhealthy); 201 to 300 (very unhealthy); and 301 and above is deemed hazardous.

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