Haze: Do what you must, Yeo tells Indonesia

Haze: Do what you must, Yeo tells Indonesia

PUTRAJAYA: Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin urged the Indonesian government to do what it takes to tackle the haze situation affecting the region.

This comes after the Indonesian authorities singled out four Malaysian-linked companies as the cause behind some of the forest fires in the country.

“Jakarta should take action against anyone if they have broken their laws,” she told journalists after attending a special cabinet meeting in Putrajaya today.

Yesterday, the Indonesian government announced it has sealed off parts of plantations belonging to some 30 firms, four of which were Malaysian-linked, as part of an investigation into the forest fires.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to express his concerns over the haze situation.

Yeo said that Malaysia has offered to assist Indonesia and also planned to carry out cloud seeding to counter the haze situation in the country.

However, she stressed that this would only bring temporary relief, and any lasting solution was dependent on Indonesia putting out the fires as soon as possible.

“The four companies are up to the Indonesian government to investigate. I think there are many more other companies in Indonesia also involved – according to reports, there are 30 companies.

“So, we believe the Indonesian government should do whatever is necessary to investigate and take action against whoever that is proven to have gone against the law,” Yeo said.

Previously, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar claimed Malaysia was not transparent about hotspots reported.

She claimed while Indonesia may be contributing to some haze, the Indonesian minister alleged that fires in Malaysia were causing the haze.

Almost half of all recording stations across Malaysia recorded poor air quality this morning, according to the Department of Environment’s tracking of the Air Pollutant Index (API).

At 11am today, 30 stations across the country recorded “unhealthy” API readings while three more recorded “very unhealthy” readings.

There is a total of 68 stations nationwide.

According to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), as of yesterday, there were 627 hotspots in Kalimantan and 55 in Sumatra, 10 in Sabah and Sarawak and one in Peninsular Malaysia.

ASMC’s tracking has shown that the haze in Peninsular Malaysia is coming from Sumatra while the haze in Sabah and Sarawak is coming from Kalimantan.