Get your geography right, Masing tells Indonesian minister

The map showing the hotspots and wind direction that caused the haze in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia as produced by ASMC.

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KUCHING, Sept 12: Tan Sri Dr James Masing has told Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, to look up the world’s map if she got her geography all mixed up.

The Sarawak deputy chief minister said he was perplexed as how the minister got her facts and geographical sense mixed up, adding that the current haze engulfing Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia was from Kalimantan and Sumatera respectively.

“All the Indonesian minister (Siti Nurbaya) has to do is google the world map and she would be able to pin point where the hotspots are.

“There are not in Sarawak. Most of them are in Kalimantan and Sumatera. The prevailing winds are blowing South-North to Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

“Please don’t be too quick to assign the blame on haze to Sarawak. We are the victims of your irresponsibility, not the culprit,” Masing said in a statement today.

He was responding to Siti Nurbaya, who was reported as putting the blame on Malaysia for not being transparent about its own forest fires. She claimed that the haze blanketing Kuala Lumpur originated from Sarawak.

However, the Indonesian minister’s claim contradicted the data from the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC) tracking, which showed that the haze in Peninsular Malaysia primarily originated from Sumatera, while in the haze in Sarawak originated from Kalimantan.

The latest data on the total number of hotspots recorded by ASMC showed 474 in Kalimantan and 387 in Sumatera, when compared to Malaysia (7). — DayakDaily