Indonesian minister says Singapore “behaving like a small child” over haze ( Haze PSI 268)

JAKARTA – A senior Indonesian minister has hit out at Singapore on the haze, saying: “Singapore shouldn’t be like children, in such a tizzy.”

Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono, who is coordinating his country’s relief and response efforts, told a press conference on Thursday: “Indonesian citizens also need to be looked after, there are hundreds.

“It’s not what Indonesians want, it’s nature,” he added.

Earlier, he told reporters that Singapore said nothing when there was fresh air, but complained about the occasional haze.

Mr Agung also rebutted criticisms that Indonesia had yet to ratify an Asean agreement on transboundary haze pollution.

“Singapore is like that. The border issue hasn’t been settled, neither has extradition, corruption.”

Asked about offers of assistance, he said: “If it’s just half a million (dollars), better we use our own budget.”

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Agung led a meeting with Indonesia’s foreign, forestry and environment ministers for an update on the haze, which has blanketed many parts of Riau province.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency CEO Andrew Tan is also in Jakarta for a meeting with Indonesian officials on Thursday.

Mr Agung said cloud seeding to induce rain would be carried out as soon as feasible. The salt is ready, the planes are in place, but there must be clouds, he added.

“The burning is not always above ground,” he said. “Much of it is below the surface.”

Some 850ha of land has been ablaze in recent days, and officials have put out fires in some 650ha, he added.

The government was also investigating which companies are responsible, he added.

“If there are, some are owned by Indonesians, Malaysians, Singaporeans,” he said. “We will take action if they are found responsible. But there must be a process.”

On Wednesday, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa noted that Indonesia had yet to ratify an Asean agreement on combating transboundary haze, but said in reality, “we have been in full compliance with what is required and expected.”

“Let’s focus on putting the fires out, and ensuring those responsible are held accountable,” he added.

By Zakir Hussain, Indonesia Bureau Chief In Jakarta, ST

Link : Indonesian minister says Singapore “behaving like a small child” over haze – ST
Reference : Indonesia chides Singapore over reactions on haze situation– MSN news

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but  but but …..super hero also cannot take it leh !

image from the net

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by Bertha Henson

So we’re children now are we? Acting in a “tizzy’’, as Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono describes us. I’m tempted to respond except that PM Lee Hsien Loong doesn’t think it’s “fruitful’’ to engage over this issue.

True, it’s childish. Petty. But, hey, they started it first! In fact, the rhetoric of the Indonesians have been pretty testy, in contrast with the diplomatic tone that we use.

Here’s what the Indonesians say:
a. We should be thanking Indonesians for fresh air. In other words, contrary to what we’ve been saying, fresh air is not a right, but a privilege.

b. We should have dealt with their concerns about extraditing their bad guys – as though the two issues are connected. Next time, we should drag up whatever unresolved issue we have with another party and throw it into the mix whenever there’s bilateral trouble of any sort. It’s like diplomatic blackmail/extortion – or a great excuse to sit on our hands.

c. We shouldn’t be too upset that the Indonesians haven’t signed the transboundary haze control agreement. That’s because they still abide by the agreement anyway, so they say. Which makes you ask yourself why they don’t just sign the thing…! Or why the agreement was even drawn up in the first place.

d. We shouldn’t be implying that they are too weak to enforce regulations on the ground – or that the Indonesians don’t care. This seems like an accusation of incompetence, irresponsibility or corruption.

Okay, so let’s recast this: “Would Indonesia please see how it can make the fire-starters stop burning forests?

We know you’re more used to the smoke, very hardy people. But we pampered Singaporeans, we’re too spoilt and our system can’t inhale so much particulate matter. We’re asthmatic, sickly, with an ageing population to boot. Please view our request with benevolence.’’ There!

You know, there are things that our politicians can’t say to maintain good bilateral relations and so forth. We still have to maintain some decorum. But there’s nothing to prevent children like us from speaking up. The wonderful thing about hearing children speak is that they usually speak the truth, in all their innocence or in this case, rage.

So may I just say this with utmost petulance: “Hey, you over there, in that burning place! Can stop playing with fire or not? You want us to start dying then you’ll be happy or what? Go control your own children. And, by the way, treat our politicians with some respect! We might be small kids but don’t think you can anyhow bully us! Okay?

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PM LEE ON “CHILDISH REMARK”

Link : PM LEE ON “CHILDISH REMARK”

—– > We are not in this exercise of megaphone diplomacy…PM Lee

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