Step up effort to identify cause of haze fires

July 1, 2013
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The severe haze that envelopedSingapore several days ago has, for now, gone away. The SDP hadsupported the Government’s effort to deal with the Indonesianauthorities in coming up with enduring measures to prevent similaroccurrences in the future.$CUT$

One such measure is to identifycorporations, especially those based in Singapore, which are engagedin starting the forest fires and to sanction these companies forcontributing to conditions that jeopardised the health of our people.

There isinformation that at least two of these companies are based inSingapore. We note, however, that Law and Foreign Affairs Minister KShanmugam has said that information from Indonesia on the identity ofthese companies is conflicting.

This, however, should not preclude theGovernment from conducting our own investigations into theallegations and determine for ourselves, to whatever extent possible,the businesses that are responsible for the haze, and action taken toprevent future burnings.

With the haze having temporarilysubsided, there is a danger that our attention on the problem willagain wane until the next haze descends upon our island. In the meantime, theill-effects accumulate with each episode which will harm long-termpublic health in Singapore.

The SDP takes this opportunity toremind the Government not to become complacent and to put in extraeffort to get to the bottom of the problem to find out the partieswho are responsible. We cannot wait for the next haze toprofess our desire to deal with the problem only to allow the matterto die down once the haze blows away again.