S’pore urges Indonesia to name firms responsible for causing haze


(Channel News Asia) – Both Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan referred to the claim by an Indonesian Forestry Ministry official in the media that Malaysian and Singapore palm oil companies that had invested in Indonesia may be responsible for starting the fires in Riau.

Singapore Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said there is a need to exert commercial pressure against companies causing the haze.

Singapore has asked Indonesia to name the errant companies involved in illegal burning.

The primary responsibility to take legal and enforcement actions against these companies lie with Indonesia – as they have clearly violated Indonesian laws within Indonesian jurisdiction.

This was highlighted in a joint statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan had spoken to their Indonesian counterparts – Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Marty Natalegawa and Indonesian Environment Minister Dr Balthasar Kambuaya – to register Singapore’s strong concerns about the worsening haze situation.

The two ministers highlighted that Singapore’s PSI had breached 150 on Monday, and had entered the unhealthy zone.

The Singaporean ministers emphasised the urgency of the situation while also reaffirming Singapore’s commitment to help Indonesia fight the fires in Sumatra.

Dr Balakrishnan requested that Indonesia share relevant information to improve monitoring of hotspots and land clearing activities.

This had been agreed between Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in October 2012.

Read more at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/s-pore-urges-indonesia-to/714724.html