Singapore offers help to Indonesia, encourages stronger ASEAN coop against haze

September 17, 2019

Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, has petitioned for “stronger resolve and cooperation” among ASEAN countries amid the worsening air quality due to raging forest fires in Indonesia.

Masagos said that the transboundary haze has affected the ASEAN region for years – polluting the air and emitting greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Barely days into the latest haze onslaught, Singapore’s 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit unhealthy levels with a reading beyond the 100 mark, at 4pm on September 14, the first since August 2016.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) thinks the convergence of winds over the nearby region has led to more smoke haze blowing from Sumatra. Currently, 450 hot spots have been detected in various Indonesian provinces, prompting the Indonesian government to send in military and police to douse the flames. Meanwhile, thousands of Indonesian citizens have held mass prayers for rain.

The island Republic has offered to help Indonesia to fight its forest fires, along with Malaysia.

“As always, we stand ready to help suppress the fires on the ground. Singapore has offered technical firefighting assistance to Indonesia and is prepared to deploy them if requested by Indonesia,” Masagos said. 

Tags: ,

Category: Community, Features

Comments are closed.