Haze Invasion!! Incompetent But Arrogant Minister Insulted By 1-Plane Offer

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Oct 22 2015
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It’s fourth day in a row that thousands of schools are closed while millions of students couldn’t sit for their year-end examination because of haze. Malaysian parents are grumbling as 4,778 schools and 2,696,110 students are affected. With situation not expected to improve, chances are schools could be (hopefully not) declared close tomorrow (Friday), effectively closing them for a week.

Haze Crisis - Malaysian Students Wearing Masks

Unlike earlier action where Chinese Ambassador Dr Huang Huikang was summoned for making a surprise visit to Petaling Street condemning terrorism, discrimination and extremism; the Government of Malaysia doesn’t dare to summon Indonesian ambassador to lodge a complaint about the worsening haze, in spite of the fact it affects 30 million Malaysians.


Short of blaming the God, Najib administration has been blaming weather, tropical storms, winds and whatnot. So far, cloud seeding has been unsuccessful in clearing the air. All the ministers could promise, for now, is they’ll keep monitoring and advise people to wear face masks outside the home all the times, and enjoy the gorgeous hazy day.

Haze Crisis - Malaysia Flag Flying in Haze Condition

In fact, this year’s annual haze problem is the most serious, so much so that the effect from Indonesia’s forest fires has today spread to Thailand. For the first time, Thailand’s southern provinces of Songkhla, Satun, Yala and Pattani registered particulate matter (PM10) reading above safety levels.


Songkhla was the hardest hit with the particulate matter reading at 267 microgram’s per cubic metre. It was so bad that street lights in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district and Satun town were turned on through the daytime as the thick haze blocked out the sunlight. So, why isn’t Indonesian doing anything about it, or at least asks neighbouring countries for help?

Haze Crisis - Thailand southern provinces 2

Haze Crisis - Thailand southern provinces

Turns out, Singapore did offer to help over the made-in-Indonesia haze crisis but the offer made in September was taken as an insult. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security – Mr. Luhut Binsar Panjaitan – was apparently insulted because he claimed Singapore offered only “one aircraft”.


“During the dry season, peatlands tend to be very flammable. When we bombard the land with water to put out the flames, they just come out again. So I get a headache when people get upset. What are we supposed to do?” – Mr. Luhut showed his innocence yet defensive approach during an interview with his country’s Tempo magazine.

Haze Crisis - Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security - Luhut Binsar Panjaitan

Here’s the best part from Mr. Luhut –“Then someone asks why we didn’t accept the assistance offered earlier. There are many reasons for that. Firstly, we wanted to try and do it on our own. Secondly, we didn’t realise the process would be so long. Thirdly, Singapore offered only one aircraft. It was insulting.”


It seems Jokowi administration has one “goblok minister” who has gotten everything upside-down in combating the haze problem. In reality, Singapore had offered a C-130 aircraft for cloud-seeding operations, a Chinook helicopter with a water bucket for aerial fire-fighting, and up to two C-130 aircraft to ferry the Singapore Civil Defence Force fire-fighting assistance team.

Haze Crisis - Singapore Air Force's Chinook Helicopter

Haze Crisis - Singapore Air Force's C-130 aircraft

Heck, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen had even flown to Jakarta at the end of September to meet his Indonesian counterpart at one of the meetings, and Mr. Luhut was one of those in the presence. After repeatedly ­declining offers of help for weeks, Indonesia finally accepted help from Singapore on Oct 7; and on Oct 11, aircraft from Singapore and Malaysia began water-bombing missions.


Amusingly, in an interview on Oct 7, Indonesian Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung told CNN Indonesia that Jakarta had earlier rejected Singapore’s offers of assistance because it was concerned that the city state would “claim credit” for solving the problem. But the incompetency, arrogance and ego demonstrated by Indonesia didn’t stop here.

Haze Crisis - Indonesian Luhut Binsar Panjaitan and President Joko Widodo

The interview continues with Mr. Luhut saying – “This haze problem is also about injustice. When a company controls 2.8 million hectares of land, where is the justice? Then there are those who own 600,000 hectares of land but own not a single fire extinguisher. Should the government be dousing fires all the time? If we call it a national disaster, they will benefit by it.”


Mr. Luhut admitted that Indonesian authorities deliberately refuse to declare the haze crisis a national disaster, even though certain areas registered readings of 2,600 API. Because the land concession owners have £500 million in London banks but demanded the Indonesian authorities to douse the flames, Luhut thinks it wasn’t fair. He also claimed President Joko Widodo knew about the problems.

Haze Crisis - Google Earth Shows Fire Spots

Haze Crisis - Indonesian Firefighters

Let’s see. First, those wealthy and powerful palm oil and paper companies took the cheapest and easiest way out by using slash-and-burn clearances. After decades of using such method, the Indonesian authorities are still sleeping on the job, most likely being bribed, for refusing to prosecute them despite knowing their identities.


Now that the haze situation has gotten out of control, Indonesian government is bitching, whining and crying like a small kid that they shouldn’t do the fire-fighting job because the private companies who started the fire were so damn rich. But when Singapore and Malaysia offered to help douse the flames after the haze invasion, they saw it as “losing face”.

Haze Crisis - Flames Peat Fires Burning

Not only the Indonesian government has demonstrated incompetency and possibly corruption by letting the haze happens every year, they have also shown their ego and arrogance by refusing Singapore’s help because they thought they can solve the problem, which they couldn’t because if they could, it wouldn’t have been an annual event, would it?


Laughably, Minister Luhut had the cheek to claim of being insulted by Singapore; falsely accused the country only offered “one aircraft”. It was like saying beggars can be choosy with the amount of money given. Not only the beggars want lots of free money, they also don’t want the givers (Singapore) to claim credit for a job well done.

Haze Crisis - Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security - Luhut Binsar Panjaitan 2

Perhaps it was Singapore’s fault after all. The government should realize that money talks and bullshit walks in Indonesia. If only Lee Hsien Loong administration have had offered money under the table for helping to extinguish the flames started by companies in Indonesia, perhaps they would be allowed to do their jobs (*grin*).


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“Haze Invasion!! Incompetent But Arrogant Minister Insulted By 1-Plane Offer”

Great article with your superb research on the issue.

Also to share this…

Don’t inhale: Scientists look at what the Indonesian haze is made of…!


As part of the workshop, the team measured the levels of gas and smoke particles in the air—including those that can get into the human respiratory system when inhaled—to understand the severity of the impacts on human health.

“There is a complete envelopment of smoke all over the place,” said Martin Wooster, Professor of Earth Observation Science at King’s College London.

“And if you’re here without a mask, you are breathing much of that smoke into your lungs, which is obviously, I would say, extremely hazardous for your health.”

The names of just some of the noxious components of the smoke are enough to show why: ozone, carbon monoxide, cyanide, ammonia and formaldehyde.

What’s clear is that the economic impact of fires … is going to far outweigh the benefits of expanding agricultural land – Louis Verchot

“The effects of any smoke on human health are well documented: headaches, dizziness, fatigue bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and cardiovascular disease. In Central Kalimantan, however, the full extent of long-term smoke inhalation on local people remains unknown. But given the levels of toxic gases measured during the workshop, researchers fear the effects of the fires may be far worse than they had anticipated…”


October 26, 2015 – Indonesia investigating Malaysian company for open burning – http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/09/26/indonesia-investigating-malaysian-company-for-open-burning/

Oct 22, 2015 – Message from the Director of Kalaweit, to the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo

My name is Chanee, I come from Europe, but I have lived in Kalimantain for 17 years , in the central province of Palangkaraya.

I’m proud to have obtained Indonesian nationality 3 years ago, because I really love Indonesia.

But Mr President, allow me to convey to you today my anger.

I’m not angry just because my son has a respiratory infection, like hundreds of other children.

I’m not angry just because thousands of people have difficulty in breathing, or because they cry and pray to be able to see the sun.

I’m not angry just because the forest in Kalimantan is in the process of being destroyed.

Mr President, I’m angry because all of this suffering exists because of the palm oil industry.

The decisions of both the previous governments and the current government, are at the root of this problem, which occurs every year, and today is even further aggravated by El Nino.

Earlier in June I had identified, from the sky, dozens of fires, burning in peat swamps to allow the expansion of palm plantations.

At that time, before the smoke haze made headlines, these fires could still be extinguished.

But this didn’t happen. The helicopter water-bomber arrived 2 months later.

The teams on the ground can do little once the fires have spread, especially as they burn in peat.

The owners of the land in which fires occur will not be punished.

It’s not me who’ll teach you, Mr President, that corruption, nepotism, and intimidation, are common to support the expansion of palm plantations.

When you have, Mr President, made the decision to create new channels in the central province of Kalimantan, you have simply aggravated the situation even further.

These channels will drain water from the forest, creating even drier conditions to exacerbate and accelerate the next fires.

Mr President, I’m angry, not simply as an activist for the environment, but also as a father, husband, and someone who really loves Indonesia.

Slowly, the leaders of these fires steal our health.

Is this what you want Mr President? For the Palm Oil Industry?

Oct 22, 2015 – Chanee – Message from the Director of Kalaweit, to the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo –

You be the judge.


Oct 22, 2015 – Chanee – Message from the Director of Kalaweit, to the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo –

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