On 1 March, S’pore upped the stakes in its ongoing row with Indonesia on responsibility for the haze
Singapore has reiterated its call to the Indonesian government to share evidence relating to any involvement by Singapore-linked companies or Singaporeans in illegal land clearing practices in Indonesia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said this on Saturday in response to media queries on comments by Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono.*
Now that S’pore has passed laws allowing it to prosecute , the Indons cannot bitch too hard about S’pore’s failures if it can’t provide evidence, what can S’pore do?. Note that Indon refused to give M’sia and s’pore details of where the fires occurred (which would help identify the culprits) saying “secret lah”. They had earlier bitched that M’sian and S’porean cos had started fires but so far have provided no evidence, despite requests.
Note the Indon parly has just started procedures for ratifying the Asean 2002 treaty on haze pollution. When will it be ratified 2022? CNA reported on 3 March
Indonesia’s parliament is a step closer to ratifying the ASEAN Agreement on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution.
Parties representing nearly 65 per cent of lawmakers have agreed to ratify the treaty.
Only two political parties – the PDI-P and PKS – have opposed it.
They cited concerns over the violation of sovereignty, as the agreement would allow firefighters from ASEAN countries to extinguish fires on Indonesian territory.
The next step will see a draft bill being discussed, before the agreement is formally ratified in parliament.
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The chief minister of Selangor must be laughing all the way to the bank. Anwar Ibrahim was planning to depose him (both belong to the same gang) by first standing in a state by-election so that he could get into the state assembly. Well Anwar has now been convicted of sodomy http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26479642.
The court decision will affect Mr Anwar’s plans to compete in a key by-election in the state of Selangor this month, reports say.
A victory for Mr Anwar would mean he could become Selangor’s chief minister – widely seen as a powerful post.
The court said he could remain free on bail while he appeals against the verdict to the country’s highest court, AP news agency reported.
*Mr Agung had said publicly that since 2013, the Indonesian police have launched 41 investigations against errant companies and individuals that may be involved in illegal land clearing practices in Indonesia.
Mr Agung said some of these cases involved Singapore-linked companies or Singaporeans.
MFA said that the Singapore government takes a serious view of these allegations.
It added that if there is credible evidence that Singapore-linked companies or Singaporeans were involved, the Singapore government intends to take further steps against these errant companies and individuals.
The ministry also urged the Indonesian government to take the necessary legal and enforcement action against errant companies or individuals, regardless of their nationality.
It said the primary responsibility for legal and enforcement action lies with Indonesia, where these companies and individuals were allegedly conducting such illegal activities.
MFA noted that a state of emergency has been declared in Riau province due to the severe haze arising from the ongoing forest and peatland fires there as well as fires elsewhere in Sumatra.
Singapore hopes that the fires will be quickly dealt with to prevent a recurrence of transboundary haze.