HAZE

1. We should respect Indonesia as a sovereign country, and hence it is ridiculous to point out that the failure of Singapore Ministers to “demand” anything from Indonesia shows their inefficiencies. Indonesia is not part of Singapore, so how can we reasonably suggest that our Ministers demand anything from Indonesia and gets it?

2. In the current haze issue, it is in the best hope that the Indonesian authorities would take measures to put out the fire. And one of the ways which Singapore can help is to contribute by sending fire fighters. Again, Indonesia, as a sovereign country, decides whether or not to accept our kind offer.

3. If any companies, be it Indonesian or foreign companies, breached the Indonesian laws by conducting “slash and burns” in the forested areas, it is expected that the Indonesian authorities take the appropriate actions to apprehend the culprits, after all, it is all within the jurisdiction of Indonesia to do so. By right, nobody should be above the law. The Indonesian authorities should not have any reason not to take any actions should anyone had breached the Indonesian laws. Stringent and consistent enforcement of the laws by the Indonesian authorities would sure be greatly appreciated by neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

4. How many contributors are there to the current haze problems, meaning that they are parties which participated in the “slash and burns”? This we can never be really sure, and we cannot rule out the possibility that some local Indonesian farmers could also be involved, as they lack the necessary financial means to acquire the equipments needed for deforestation – which may be needed to create spaces for their own agricultural purposes. And it is known that these farmers usually take advantage of the dry season to carry out such burnings.

5. Some prominent bloggers and a few netizens had pointed out that Temasek Holdings should be blamed, because Temasek Holdings is a stakeholder in some of the companies which allegedly participated in the “slash and burn”. This is despite Minister K Shanmugam stating so clearly otherwise in a comment on his FB page. There are many who refuse to acknowledge what the Minister had said, and had argued that Temasek Holdings should be blamed if such companies which it has a stake in, had participated in the burning, especially if Temasek Holdings is a “substantial shareholder”. Can a substantial stakeholder ensure that the companies do all of its bidding? Are there no other shareholders and the main shareholder which hold stakes and have voting rights too? Perhaps these netizens are suggesting that if Temasek Holdings, as a substantial shareholder can’t “influence” these companies to its bidding, then Temasek Holdings should sell its shares and divest?

6. It is interesting that some people can raise so many issues out of the hazy weather conditions in Singapore, perhaps more so than what some others had imagined.

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