Indonesia has once again declined Singapore’s offer to help fight the haze-causing fires. Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said that Indonesia is trying to handle the situation on its own.
This is a surprising u-turn from media reports of Vice-president Jusuf Kalla calling on Singapore to help. Jusuf Kalla was reported to have said: “Singapore please come and tackle the haze because the effect is also felt by Singapore. We, not to mention Singapore, dislike (the haze). Everyone dislikes it and we have put in extra effort to tackle the fires.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the mobilisation of hundreds more troops and enforcement officers to tackle the forest fires, which have caused air quality reach dangerous levels in Riau.
Indonesian and Malaysian environment Ministers will meet in Jarkarta next week to discuss measures for talking the haze crisis. Malaysia’s Dr Wan Junaidi Jaafar also added that an MOU will be signed together with Singapore, Thailand and Brunei on the next course of action.