Indonesia fires anger S’pore, M’sia


Indonesia said it is working to put out forest fires raging in the Riau province, attributed to slash and burn agricultural methods.

Nearby Singapore and Malaysia have complained of the smoky haze coming from the fires, Voice of American reported Saturday.

“Singapore tends to make noise quickly if pollution levels even slightly exceed tolerable standards, even though this is still common in Indonesia,” Indonesian Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Michael Tene said: “Certainly, we will send the necessary resources in terms of manpower and equipment to deal with the fire, but we also have to take into account the geographical situation on the ground might be quite difficult.

“This is happening in the middle of a forest. That may hamper some of the efforts being taken,” he said.

Voice of America said a two-year moratorium on burning permits in Indonesia has been imposed, but has yet to take effect.

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