“Singapore, please come if you want to help. Don’t just talk.”
– Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla
Singapore has been having a hazy time over the last month but there’s a bigger smoky situation happening over in Indonesia. On several occasions over the last few weeks, Singapore has been making offers to help Indonesia with the haze issue with a few planes and firefighters.
The story becomes weirder when Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla seems to have been telling the media that Singapore’s assistance is welcomed but his Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar has been declining assistance.
Here’s what’s been happening over the last 2 weeks.
|14 Sep||Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan spoke to Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar to express his concern over the haze and reiterate Singapore’s offer of help to Indonesia.
Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla spoke to Indonesian news outlet Liputan6, inviting Singapore to help tackle the haze
|17 Sep||Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar declined Singapore’s assistance to fight the haze. She said Indonesia is still trying to handle the crisis on its own.|
|18 Sep||Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar says Indonesia has yet to decide if it wants Singapore’s help in resolving the haze crisis. She also states her personal view that “we do not yet need it.”
Notably, it is the third time in a week that Minister Siti has indicated that Indonesia does not require additional resources.
Foreign Minister K Shanmugam calls Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi to express deep concern about the haze situation.
|24 Sep||Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announces that the Government could be issuing notices to companies|
|25 Sep||Singapore closes schools as PSI hits hazardous levels.
Foreign Minister Shanmugam hits out at some senior Indonesian officials for not taking “some shocking statements made, at senior levels, from Indonesia, with a complete disregard for our people, and their own”
|27 Sep||Indonesian VP Jusuf Kalla says Indonesia is open to help from any country, including Singapore.
“Singapore, please come if you want to help. Don’t just talk”
One wonders exactly what is going on in our bigger neighbour with conflicting statements all around. So it would seem the haze is going to be here for some time… Or at least till certain people get their act together.