SUPP visits consulate for clearer picture on haze situation in Indonesia

Kho (left) and Tan (second left) in a discussion with Indonesian consulate officers about the haze that has been affecting Sarawak.

KUCHING, Sept 10: The relevant federal departments especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change have been very quiet and are not providing adequate information or details to the general public as Sarawak faces severe haze, laments Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Central Women chairwoman Kho Teck Wan.

In view of this, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Tan Kai led a team of SUPP members on a visit to the Indonesian Consulate in Kuching today to inquire about Indonesia’s efforts in controlling the fire and haze that is affecting Sarawak, especially Kuching and Sri Aman.

Tan, Kho and SUPP Batu Lintang youth chief Mok Chuang Ping managed to meet the Vice-Consul of Indonesia Ringgi Perdini and Indonesian National Police Liaison officer Joni Getamala.

From second left: Kho and Tan together with Ringgi and Indonesian consulate officials in a group photo.

“According to Ringgi, the Indonesian government started the national fire fighting mechanism last month. Their Ministry of Foreign Affairs had also met with (personnel from) the Malaysian Consulate in Jakarta to given an update on Indonesia’s haze as well as firefighting efforts,” according to Kho in a statement, today.

“She said Indonesia has also despatched more than 10,000 personnel consisting of corporate employees, firefighters, volunteers, and army personnel to fight against the fires. The Indonesian government also despatched 18 helicopters to dump water bombs in areas affected by forest fires in Kalimantan,” she added.

Based on the consulate’s reports, West Kalimantan was the hardest hit and eight helicopters have been despatched to put out fires at that area.

“The Indonesian government is also investigating 19 plantation companies, suspected to be the cause of fire incidents. Ringgi also explained that her government is taking the fire and haze incidents seriously. They are monitoring the hotspots through satellite images, through which they also found hotspots along the Sarawak and Western Kalimantan border,” Kho explained. — DayakDaily