Speaking to reporters while on an extended trip in New York, Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla responded to the concerns of the Singapore government by saying that Indonesia wants Singapore and regional neighbors to step up and try and solve the widespread burning in Indonesia instead of just expressing concern over the haze.
“Go ahead, we are open. Singapore can come and see for themselves if they want to help. Don’t just talk,” said Mr Kalla on Sunday.
The Singapore government had previously attempted to offer help to Indonesia – which Indonesia has so far rejected. Singapore’s Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam had on 19th September called his Indonesian counterpart to express his deep concern over the haze crisis.
Mr Kalla added that the Indonesian government has worked hard to eliminate the fires but it was difficult to do in a short time.
“The problem is, in addition to the hot weather, the fires in Indonesia are worsened by the wind,” he said. “We have done all that we can do. Since it has affected other countries, if they want to help, then go ahead.”
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi says that she has communicated the steps taken by the Indonesian government to solve the haze problem to the Singapore government.