Saturday, October 07, 2006

Haze in Singapore Worsened

Channel NewsAsia reported that the haze level in Singapore went into the unhealthy range starting from today (Saturday, 7 October 2006) morning. The 3-hours PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) reading first entered the unhealthy range at 8am with a PSI reading of 101, and then climbed up as high as 130 at 10am, before going down to 115 at 12 noon.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore reported that the smoke haze situation has deteriorated overnight, and the prevailing winds have remained southerly to southwesterly overnight and they have brought smoke haze from southern Sumatra to Singapore.

It is reported that the same problem currently is also affecting Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur, forcing most Malaysians in KL to stay indoors. The haze has choked the region, and even spreading across Pacific. On Thursday, the haze had even spread 3,600 kilometres (2,250 miles) to smother islands in the western Pacific, authorities there said.

It's confirmed that the forest fires in Indonesia, particularly Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo), are the main culprit of the haze that choked the South East Asia region. Not only that this matter has prompted "condemnation" from Singaporean and Malaysian bloggers, some Indonesian bloggers based in Singapore have also voiced out their concerns as well.

Nisa said:

it was not pleasant living with this kind of air. and all because some people back home we burning trees to make profit for themselves. talking about being greedy and selfish!

and:

so please government of my country, not only you should step up in whatever you do but do take more serious action on this greedy people

Rani said:

And we're like, thousands of kilometers away from the smoke source. I wonder how it feels to live in Pekanbaru or other cities in Sumatra.

The effect of the haze is no joke. Nisa is right when she said that we shouldn't make a joke of it. This issue really has given Indonesia a very bad name. The government of Indonesia should take actions more seriously in handling this matter.

Update - 8 October 2006, 05:54hrs SGT:

The haze situation in Singapore got even worse on Saturday evening, with the 3-hour PSI reading reached 150 at 9pm yesterday evening. Currently, the PSI reading is 128.

The Singapore government has expressed its concerns about the situation to Indonesia, stressing the urgency to suppress the forest fires which are causing the haze. Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said: "I just hope that next year, the Indonesians will understand our concerns and do something about the haze."

They also have offered
assistance to Indonesia to fight the problem. This includes cloud 'seeding' operations to induce rain as well as table-top exercises to help farmers deal with land clearing. "It's up to the Indonesian government and its people whether they want to take the offer", said Dr. Yacoob Ibrahim, Singapore's Environmental and Water Resources Minister. Hmm... let's see whether the Indonesian government would take up that offer.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Najib Tun Razak mentioned that ASEAN countries must take joint actions to tackle this haze problem. This includes setting up a sizeable fund to tackle the problem of open burning which is seen as the cause of the haze in the region. This statement indirectly depicts the shameful inability of the Indonesian government to handle the problem, i.e. to even prevent those greedy Sumatran land farmers to use open burning to clear their lands.

It is, indeed, shameful.

[Indonesian version]

2 comments:

dodY said...

waktu di singapore bulan lalu Strait Times habis2an menghujat asap ini. bilangnya the polution rate was the worse in 9 years.

tapi emang bener siy! asap2 itu ngeganggu bgt! saya sbg orang indonesia aja terganggu... apalagi org singapore... lhoo.. kok ngga nyambung gini seh?! hahaha!

IndraPr said...

Bener Dod, mengganggu acara sebagai turis di Singapore kan? Hahaha... :)