Group urge Indonesian govt to tackle haze issue together

Sivanesan (left) handing over the letter to Joni (right).

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KUCHING, Oct 4: A group of Sarawakian netizens held a peaceful protest this morning at the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching here.

Led by aspiring politician Sivanesan Sanmugalingam, the group was there to hand over a request letter to the Consulate General office, addressed to the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, urging the Indonesian government to help Sarawak tackle the haze issue.

Sivanesan told reporters that this was a peaceful protest, not against the Indonesian government but to protest the lack of action by the federal government in tackling the haze issue.

He said since the federal government was so slow in taking action to tackle this haze issue, Sarawak netizens have entrusted him to take matters into their own hands and delivered a request letter to the Indonesian government.

“When Europe attacked Southeast Asia on oil palm plantations, Indonesia and Malaysia are always hand in hand helping each other. So we don’t want to make a situation where we want to create animosity,” he told a press conference.

“And we know its (haze) not entirely Indonesia’s fault. We, Malaysians, (are) also at fault. But the reason why the (Sarawak) netizens agreed for me to ask for assistance from Indonesia is because of frustration with the federal government,” he said.

Sivanesan (second right) and other netizens gather in front of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia.

“Where is the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin? Where are you? Where have you been?,” he asked.

Sivanesan pointed out that during the previous federal government, the haze issue was almost non-existent as the ministers were proactive in doing their jobs.

“Suddenly after we change government, we got hit very bad by haze. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s just lack of action, conviction, love and empathy for Sarawakians,” he said.

Meanwhile, liaison officer of Indonesian National Police Joni Getamala who received the letter from Sivanesan, assured that he will deliver the letter to the Indonesian government promptly.— DayakDaily