Cabinet Secretary: No Agreement on Singapore’s Offer to Tackle Haze

By Alfurkon Setiawan
Date 30 September 2015
Category: News
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Asap Singapor

A view in Singapore that covered by Haze sourced from forest fires in Sumatera area

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung admitted that the Singaporean government had offered assistance to extinguish forest and peatland fires, which brought about haze crisis in Singapore, to the Indonesian Government.

However, he said that the Government decided to try to extinguish the fire our with its own ways.

“I admitted, there are attempts (to offer assistance). However, based on the reports from the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) and the Minister of the Environment and Forestry, until now, we are still trying to do what we can do,” Pramono said to reporters after a limited meeting in Jakarta, on Monday (28/9) afternoon.

Pramono added that President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo had trusted the steps on the coordination on the ground, however he said that the Government  was still trying to do what it can do in its own ways.

Asked if the offer from Singapore was rejected, Pramono said “In the meantime, there is no agreement”.

Meanwhile, Minister of the Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya said that before the Middle East visit on 14 September 2015, President Jokowi said that by taking into account several factors, the Government has decided to use internal resources to tackle the haze.

“We appreciate all supports,” Siti said in Jakarta, on Monday (28/9).

She also said that Singapore had offered 1 water bombing (plane) with a capacity of 5,000 litres. Meanwhile, Indonesia is using a water bombing plane as well with a capacity of 4,500 litres and Indonesia still has 3 – 4 more planes.

“Singapore wants to lend one unit of plane, but we have 3-4 planes with the same capacities,” Minister Siti said, adding that  BNPB has prepared 17 water bombing planes with the capacity of  5,000 litres.

”The plane that Singapore offered seemed to be ready and be operated on 14 September,” Siti said, adding that Singapore had also offered to provide Cynook plane to transport the troops.

”The plane is huge, nice, but according to the Head of the National Police, the plane consumes more fuel, ”Siti added.

The Minister went on to say that Singapore would also provide assessment and planning teams.

”I can not imagine we must give reports to the assessment team, yet we work in five provinces; Riau, West Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Jambi and Central Kalimantan Provinces. That is the factor and I have explained our situation and what we are going to do,” Siti said.

Regarding the statement of Vice President Jusuf Kalla who welcomed Singapore’s assistance to Indonesia, Siti said that she did not know it.

“I have not received a new instruction from the Vice President, so the conclusion is still the same,” Siti said.

As previously reported, Vice President Jusuf Kalla in his working visit to the United States said that the Indonesian Government is open to any country, including Singapore, if they want to offer assistance to extinguish forest fire and to clean the haze in Indonesia.

“We welcome (the plan) and (are) open (to it). Singapore could witness it. We welcome Singapore if they want to help us. Do not just talk,” Kalla said on Sunday (28/9)  in New York, the US.

The statement came in response to the statement from Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam who protested the way the Indonesian Government handle forest and peatland fires which caused haze crisis in Singapore. (DND/UN/ES)(RAS/EP/YM-Naster/Sy)

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