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Posts Tagged ‘Haze’

The next row with Indons

In Environment, Indonesia on 21/09/2016 at 4:45 am

Haze is Indonesia’s retaliation for helping Google avoid Indon taxes

Taz the line that the Indon VP or Indon minister will take soon.

Because Google uses S’pore as tax haven to avoid paying Indon taxes, Indons will keep on burning and killing 2,200 S’poreans a year*, a senior Indon official is sure to say. Never mind a lot more Indons are killed by haze.


Btw, expect the cybernuts from The Idiots – S’pore (or TISG) and TRE to start screaming that the PAP govt is allowing S’poreans to die so that Google can make money. And they’ll cheer on Indonesia as they cheered on Pinoy chief gangster for dissing S’pore.

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This is what CNA, part of the constructive, nation-building media reported

Indonesia plans to pursue Alphabet Inc’s Google for five years of back taxes, and the search giant could face a bill of more than US$400 million for 2015 alone if it is found to have avoided payments, a senior tax official said.

Most of the revenue generated in the country is booked at Google’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Google Asia Pacific declined to be audited in June, prompting the tax office to escalate the case into a criminal one, Hanif said.

“Google’s argument is that they just did tax planning,” Hanif said. “Tax planning is legal, but aggressive tax planning – to the extent that the country where the revenue is made does not get anything – is not legal.”

The tax office will summon directors from Google Indonesia who also hold positions at Google Asia Pacific, Hanif said, adding that it is working with the Indonesian police.

Already Google  has come under scrutiny from Australian authorities for paying tax in Singapore on advertising revenue generated in Australia, where the corporate tax rate is 30%.

Btw, Indons are saying Nasi Goreng is not a S’porean dish. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-37408343


*A study that estimates there were 2,200 premature deaths in Singapore due to the 2015 haze crisis is “not reflective of the actual situation”, the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (Sep 19). The study by researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities in the US also said there were more than 100,000 premature deaths caused by transboundary haze from Indonesian forest fires. 

CNA

 

 

 

 

 

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Indons speaking with fork tongues again

In Environment, Internet on 25/07/2016 at 1:14 pm

Indon VP asking for neighbours’ help in fighting the fires. But he seems to have forgotten that Indon officials have said they don’t need help.

Worse, while complaining that S’pore was trying to punish Indon cos for the fires, it has stopped investigating them

Indonesia’s efforts in tackling forest fires came into question when 15 out of 18 companies suspected of being responsible for the forest fires last year got off the hook with the law.

On Thursday, detik.com reported that the district police in Riau will be stopping investigations on the 15 companies due to the lack of evidence.

“It does not fulfil the elements of intent nor negligence, so we decide to stop investigating the cases,” said Senior Commissioner Rivai Sinambela, Director for Special Criminal Investigation, Riau police district.

Commissioner Rival said that the fires happened on land which have conflicting ownership with the community, and not on areas belonging to the companies.

In 2015, police began investigations on 18 companies suspected of causing forest fires, but only three went to the courts. The three companies PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo, PT Palm Lestari Makmur and PT Wahana Subur Sawit were eventually acquitted.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-calls-on/2980490.html

Bye-bye haze, welcome rain

In Commodities, Environment, Indonesia on 22/02/2016 at 7:25 am

This month has been unseasonably wet even by pre El Nino norms. Well it seems this report that El Nino is coming round earlier this yr is wrong.

The latest thinking is that El Niño passes its peak while La Niña is possible this year.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35612558

What is La Nina?

Whatever, VivianB will be not screaming at the Indons this yr. There’ll be lrss hot air coming from the Indons. And Mad Dog Chee can brown-nose the Indons without upsetting S’poreans like me.

When Indians are silent, not triumphant

In China, Environment, India on 23/01/2016 at 5:05 am

India loves to blow its trumpet whenever it “beats” China. So it’s strange that it’s so silent when it trashes China.

 

 

La Nina and commodities/ Can you still smell the haze?

In Commodities, Environment, Indonesia, Malaysia on 09/01/2016 at 6:12 am

Map: effects of La Nina on commodities

I can still smell the haze i.e, the fires are still burning but at a much lower level of intensity, enabling the Indon authorities tp pretend that they’ve stopped the fires.

The haze season will begin in Feb

Indons can’t BS us in 2016

In Environment, Indonesia on 01/01/2016 at 1:07 pm

We got a spy in the sky.

Singapore’s TeLEOS-1 satellite, now in orbit some 500km above the Equator, takes pictures with a 1-metre resolution when it passes the neighbourhood once every 100 minutes or so.

http://kementah.blogspot.sg/2015/12/singapores-teleos-1-satellite-can-serve.html

Meanwhile in Indonesia, the haze and mirrors’ game continues: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35203609

“The strongest El Nino weather cycle on record” is happening right now http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35159826

Haze: Season begins in Feb 2016

In Environment, Indonesia, Uncategorized on 22/11/2015 at 1:08 pm

Not in Aug/ Sept as is traditionally the case.. Or even like a few yrs back in May.

Enjoy the haze-free environment. Not that long more before next season begins.

This is what i posted a few weeks ago

The Indons tell us the fires will cease by the end of Neovember: rains are late this yr leh. What they don’t tell us: Louis Verchot of the Centre for International Forestry Research warns that El Niño may yet induce a second burning season, next February and March. Lax laws are part of the problem. Even more serious are official incompetence and corruption, which have allowed plantations to keep spreading on land that is supposed to be off-limits. A regional treaty designed to combat the haze was drawn up in 2002 that was full of grand promises but lacked teeth.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/11/daily-chart-3

Haze: Help? What help?

In Environment, Indonesia on 10/11/2015 at 4:55 am

A new law introduced in Singapore this year that aims to drag Indonesia’s fire-starters through its own courts may make more difference. Retailers in the city-state have already stopped selling products made by some firms under investigation.

(Economist)

But otherwise our fire fighting team has returned and no new team is going out.

The Singapore team helping to fight haze-causing fires in Indonesia returned Saturday afternoon (Oct 24) after more than 10 days in Palembang.

The return marks the completion of the Singapore Armed Forces’ two-week deployment, as requested by Indonesian authorities.

A total of 40 SAF and Singapore Civil Defence Force troops were deployed on Oct 10.  A Chinook helicopter with a 5,000-litre heli-bucket was also deployed. Over the two weeks, it had discharged more than 400,000 litres of water and extinguished more than 50 hotspots in Sumatra.

(CNA)

This blog has been pretty critical about the Indon officials false pride and BS but if S’pore has not offered to send another team and another to help, then our help is really “peanuts” and not worth accepting in the first place.

More than 20,000 firefighters are battling blazes across its jungles and peatland. So our one-time help of 40 fire-fighters and some eqpt is “peanuts” by any standard,

But maybe we did offer to send another team (and then another), but the Indons refused our help?

But then I’m sure that our ministers would have made that fact public.

Next haze season begins in Feb 2016

In Environment, Indonesia on 08/11/2015 at 10:50 am

The Indons tell us the fires will cease by the end of Neovember: rains are late this yr leh. What they don’t tell us: Louis Verchot of the Centre for International Forestry Research warns that El Niño may yet induce a second burning season, next February and March. Lax laws are part of the problem. Even more serious are official incompetence and corruption, which have allowed plantations to keep spreading on land that is supposed to be off-limits. A regional treaty designed to combat the haze was drawn up in 2002 that was full of grand promises but lacked teeth. 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/11/daily-chart-3

Haze: Why Indons getting serious

In Environment, Indonesia on 31/10/2015 at 11:06 am

A few days ago I wrote Haze: Huge Indon U-turn within a week

The Indon govt was changing its mind on calling a state of National Emergency despite saying it wasn’t on the cards a few days earlier.

The reason?

“Lately, clouds of haze have been drifting into the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, which normally escapes the smelly fumes. Cynics will wonder whether that helped persuade Mr Widodo to come home early,” Economist.

Widodo had cut short a US trip to deal with haze.

Haze is hitting the elite where it hurts, their home town and the place where upset people can make a difference.

 

Haze: Huge Indon U-turn within a week

In Environment, Indonesia on 29/10/2015 at 5:23 am

The British have a saying, “A week is a long time in politics.”

Yesterday CNA reported, Indonesia is considering declaring a national emergency over fires that have been smouldering across the archipelago for weeks, sending haze drifting across much of Southeast Asia, the vice president said on Tuesday.

The government would intensify efforts to contain the fires that have caused pollution levels across the region to spike to unhealthy levels, and forced school closures and flight cancellations, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.

“The problem is too big,” Kalla said in an interview at his office in Jakarta.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-considers/2221238.html

But on 21 October, Companies will benefit if haze problem declared national disaster: Indonesian minister

The annual haze problem in Indonesia is about injustice, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for politics, law and security Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.

“When a company controls 2.8 million hectares of land, where is the justice? Then there are those that own 600,000 hectares of land but own not a single fire extinguisher,” he said in an interview in the Oct 25 issue of Tempo, an Indonesian weekly news magazine.

He explained authorities’ reluctance to declare the haze problem a national disaster, even though air pollution levels in some Indonesian cities have reached hazardous levels at more than 2,600 API.

“Should the government be dousing fires all the time? If we call it a national disaster, they will benefit from it,” he said, referring to land concession owners. “They have 500 million pounds sterling in London banks, but they demand that we douse the flames.”

(CNA)

The plantation owners could use  any declaration of a national emergency to declare force majeure on palm oil deals, even financing deals entered into with banks.

Haze: Only Indon officials do this

In Environment, Indonesia on 25/10/2015 at 4:23 am

Int’l conference of ministers in haze-ridden Padang.

Only Indon officials can be so cock. I assume that when this conference was scheduled, they tot the haze season would be over.

Correspondents … likely to be discussed at the talks is smoke from illegal forest burning in Indonesia that has blighted the air across much of South East Asia for several weeks.

Julie Bishop takes morning run before attending Indian Ocean Rim Association meetings in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, 23 October 2015

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will hand on the chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to Indonesia at a meeting in West Sumatra.

IORA consists of 20 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean and has been chaired by Australia since 2013.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-34612083

 

Haze: Indon govt protecting plantation cos

In Environment, Indonesia on 23/10/2015 at 4:48 am

Our govt has officially requested Jakarta to provide S’pore with the names of those companies that are causing the fires. This would allow S’pore to take legal action against those responsible for the haze that has covered us, M;sia and now southern Thailand.

But Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Luhut Pandjaitan has given us us the finger on the issue (and in so doing tells us that the plantation cos are being protected), despite Indonesian officials regularly blaming S’pore-based (and M’sian based) cos for the fires.

Speaking to the media here after delivering a public lecture on Monday (Oct 19), he said Jakarta might consider releasing the names of the companies after they have gone though the legal process in Indonesia*.

Jakarta has said it is not yet ready to officially disclose names of plantation companies responsible for the forest fires in the country that caused the haze in the region.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Luhut Pandjaitan said releasing the names would create uncertainty within the country.

He added that the Indonesian government also do not want to create an uncertain situation within the country because of this. “Moving forward, they know that they are going to get punished by the government. I think this is very important.

“But next year, we have already given them a clear message: We are going to revoke their licence, no question about that. That I can assure you. They understand that fully.” 

(CNA)

So it seems that the companies are to be given yet another chance to avoid being named and shamed, and prosecuted here. Did money cdhange hands ?

Related post: Another Indon goof https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/haze-indons-forgot-about-el-nino/

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*Legal process, what legal process? He said: “Well, we are not protecting (plantation companies). Like I mentioned earlier, we have not officially submitted the names to the court. So how can we disclose them to the public? It’s unfair. We’ll wait for the court’s final decision.” 

How can courts decide if the names are not officially submitted? So Kafkaesque    of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially :  having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality <Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kafkaesque

Did money change hands?

 

Haze: Indons forgot about El Nino?

In Indonesia on 19/10/2015 at 5:31 am

Update on 22 October: There is little possibility of rain before the end of November, said Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.

When TRE republished https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/haze-indon-officials-that-cock-meh-double-confirm/ TKSS reminded of how the yearly wayang ends: the rains come and everybody is happy.

CI, it is quite obvious the games played.

We are in mid October which is the transition between mother nature’s season of south west and north east monsoon. In another month or so the North east monsoon takes over and rain will douse fires

Indonesians are probably thinking why not for PR, they don’t do it the rains will.
They already have a few months when fires were most productive in cleaning lands*.

Sadly TKSS and the Indon officials forget that we are likely not to see the usual weather pattern. The weather should be a lot cooler and rainier  by now but it isn’t. I’ve got two fans on and am bare-bodied as I write this at 5.00am.

The dry spell is likely to continue for a lot longer than usual. Remember that last November — January were pretty dry. This November — January could be worse.

The only good thing we can look forward to is that El Nino is followed by La Nina. and a couple of once-in-a-century floods in the space of a few months. Here’s hoping :a Ninacomes earlier than expected.

Related article https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/haze-la-nina-riding-to-the-rescue/

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*He goes on: Map co-ordinates will lead to identification of culprits which will destroy those bureaucracies – income in Province and Capital. Just wondering how much monies are used to grease the system by plantation owners to have their annual bonfires?

It is up to Political Leaders of those affected countries to get Indonesia to the table and start the process of enforcement. Laws can be enacted with regimes of fines and even confiscation of land by Indonesia.

BUT IS THERE A RESOLVE TO DO IT?

Haze: Indon officials that cock meh? Double confirm

In Environment, Indonesia on 09/10/2015 at 5:32 am

Further to this https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/haze-indon-officials-that-cock-meh/, I’ll let my fellow Facebookers speak for me on the u-turn in Indon policy

“Jakarta accepts foreign help to fight raging forest fires” ST today. Finally. Why didn’t they accept such offers weeks back when it was offered and when the situation was already hazardous? Was it pride or what? And here, neighbours numbering millions have been suffering due to the Indonesian government’s previous stance! Hopefully there will be some relief in the near future.”

“At last! They also accepted Russian help. If Russia did not offer assistance I doubt that their foolish pride would have allowed them to accept Singapore’s offer. But now that a huge country and P5 member is helping them it has become acceptable to accept an insignificant offer from a tiny neighbour. Another factor may be the impending ASEAN Summit which also entails meetings with Dialogue Partners. Their lack of capacity has been all too evident and they would have wanted to avoid criticism from world leaders.
‘In today’s ST page A6 there is a story about how the Indonesian government pressured major palm oil firms to roll back no deforestation pledges they made at the UN. I think this is actually a more important story than Jakarta’s belated acceptance of foreign assistance because it reveals something of the thinking and priorities of this Indonesian government.”

To the second comment, I’d add that there is a newspaper that a senior Indon official claimed that it turned down S’pore’s help initially because it didn’t want S’pore to claim credit for solving the problems.

Using that line of reasoning, one can assume that Indon officials will refuse to divulge the name of S’pore-based cos that it thinks is causing the haze. Doesn’t want S’pore to claim the credit for prosecuting them.

Which brings me to Terry Xu’s constructive suggestion to the S’pore govt.

“Zenata Putera, co-founder of local NGO, P.M Haze, said that while Indonesian authorities have said that there is a lack of information regarding the plots of land which companies own, NGOs have noted that such information is in fact available. He also said that it would be easier to work with the NGOs to resolve the haze-related issues than to go through the bureaucratic process.
What the Singapore government could probably do is to engage with the NGOs in Indonesia and to work out a plan to monitor errant companies. It could also help provide jobs for villagers who would be willing to work as firefighters and watchmen of the plantations to prevent fires or to testify against companies who run foul of the law.
The Singapore government has a duty to address the annual issue and to stop pushing the blame to “uneducated” villagers and companies that are almost never prosecuted in any way. The residents of Singapore deserves a better answer than being urged to bear with it and told that things are beyond our control.”

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/09/is-spore-helpless-about-the-haze-not-really/

What Terry Xu is saying is this, “By-pass the Indonesian govt, work with the Indon NGOs to identify the criminals”

Good suggestion but following it will get the Indon govt further upset with us. Indonesia is so protective of its sovereignty that it refuses to provide the map co-ordinates of the areas where it alleges S’pore cos are breaking its law, when our govt wants the info to prosecute the alleged burners.

In dealing with the haze problem, there no win-win possiblities, only a choice of lesser evils.

Haze: La Nina riding to the rescue?

In Environment, Indonesia on 04/10/2015 at 4:25 am

So the Indon officials say they don’t need our help despite the VP sayinfg S’pore should help and despite firefighters saying they lack eqpt. Allah is sending in La Nina earlier than expected.

Coming in 2016, El Nino’s other half: heavy rains among other things.

Map: effects of La Nina on commodities

Haze: Indon officials that cock meh?

In Indonesia on 03/10/2015 at 4:32 am

Indonesia has enough resources to fight the forest fires that are causing the haze in the region, and does not need the assistance offered by Singapore at this time, Indonesian officials told a Singapore delegation on Thursday (Oct 1). CNA

Strange as

— Tot Indon VP told S’pore to help, not juz bitch: OK he said Indon was open to help, but that implies that it needs help. So officials now saying he talk cock king?

— These fire fighters say they don’t have the resources to put out the fires in their area http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34341012

Haze, 9/11 & TOC

In Indonesia, Political governance on 28/09/2015 at 5:18 am

PM got really lucky on 9/11? Or did the 9th Immortal* use his newly acquired powers to fix the weather?

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Imagine if 9/11 was as hazy as last Friday (Schools had to be closed and in the morning, the Pollutants Standards Index,PSI, hit 341- the highest level this year.). PM would most probably not have got the 10 point swing that had the anti-PAP cyberwarriors like Constance Singham choking on their venom from their fangs https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/social-activist-feminist-in-denial/. A five point swing would have been more likely, something which I tot probable based on my analysis that East Coast and Marine Parade would not fall, but Aljunied would repent

In the run up to 9/11, if the weather had been like that in the last week TOC (WP’s Hammer Online) would be pushing the line that the haze is almost all the fault of the PAP administration: like it did on Friday

The Singapore government has a duty to address the annual issue and to stop pushing the blame to “uneducated” villagers and companies that are almost never prosecuted in any way. The residents of Singapore deserves a better answer than being urged to bear with it and told that things are beyond our control.”

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/09/is-spore-helpless-about-the-haze-not-really/

I’ll go into what the Hammer Online TOC wants the govt to do one of these days. But until then bear in mind that anti-PAP cyberwarriors accused the govt of using salt to induce rain juz before F1. When the govt denied this, TOC said the govt was being less than open because the M’sians and Indons might have used salt to induce rain (Wow everything blame PAP isit?). Btw, TOC and the anti-PAP cyberwarriors didn’t use the the word “salt”. They used the term “sodium chloride”. To make the seeding sound more “sinister”?

It’s stories like this that “double confirm” the PAP administration’s assertion that TOC is indeed “political” and worthy of being hantamed, left, right and in the balls. When it was “gazetted” yrs ago, I tot the action unfair: now I’m not so sure.(Disclosure: I helped out at TOC when Ravi was chief editor,)

TOC doesn’t respect the decision of 70% of voters to support the PAP? It like, Dr Chee, wants the 30% to rule over the 70% isit?

“At home, anger at the current political situation is palpable [Huh? OK on TRE] and some have resorted to action [TRE cybernuts are shoutong obscenities and cursing their fellow S’poreans? Nothing unusual there.] . If the PAP is content to label this group of citizens as the ‘noisy minority’, … For these people, the prospect of being unable to bring about political change through the ballot box* only makes the PAP’s claim of legitimate power sound dangerously vacuous.”

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/will-the-real-sdp-dr-chee-pls-stand-up/

(He forgot that over the years this 30% of voters have been able to get the support of swing voters in Hougang, Aljunied and Punggol East. Juz because the SDP can’t win, doesn’t mean that others can’t. Go ask the WP. Yes, it’s an uneven field, but winning is not impossible. Takes time, patience and maturity: virtues that Dr Chee may not have.

Yes the minority has rights, but so does the 70%. Democracy is not about majoritism, but neither is it about dictatorship by the minority.

Here’s an extract (emphasis mine) from a BBC article that Doc Chee and TOC should bear in mind when demanding that the views of the 30% must prevail (because the 30% agrees with their “right” views?)

Clem Attlee’s Labour government had a massive Commons majority and an undoubted mandate, but had only 16 peers in the Lords. Theoretically, their Lordships could have frustrated Attlee at every turn, throwing out or wrecking every bill in their programme, but that would have risked retaliation in the form of outright abolition – so, instead, a deal was struck.

Peers would not oppose measures promised – “foreshadowed” – in the government’s manifesto, and therefore assumed to have the endorsement of the electorate, at second or third Reading. In other words, the government would get the legislation it had promised to voters, and therefore would not have to get bogged down in an Asquith-style struggle with the Lords – Addison was a veteran of the Asquithian Liberal Party, and would doubtless have preferred not to repeat its epic battles with peers.

Cranborne spelled the new doctrine out in the debate on the King’s Speech in July 1945:

“Whatever our personal views, we should frankly recognise that these proposals were put before the country at the recent general election and the people of this country, with full knowledge of these proposals, returned the Labour Party to power. The government may, therefore, I think, fairly claim that they have a mandate to introduce these proposals. I believe it would be constitutionally wrong, when the country has so recently expressed its view, for this House to oppose proposals which have been definitely put before the electorate.”

He reserved “full liberty of action” on legislation not included in an election manifesto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-34340715

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*Funny that no-one has accused LKY of using his unearthly powers to transform Oppo votes into PAP votes. But Uncle Redbean comes close.

The final result was just too incredible and unbelievable. This must be the biggest mystery of this GE. It was like a strange event in the Bermuda Triangle that defied all logic and reasons. How could a SDP team that was technically superior or at worst equal to the PAP team lost so badly?

Call it a miraculous win for the PAP team. The other mystery must be the near loss of the WP team in Aljunied GRC. The voters could not switch camp just like that, and without a big crisis. The AHPETC was no crisis but a red herring. The voters of Aljunied were not so daft not to see it to affect their voting decision.

Yes, the truth is stranger than fiction.

http://mysingaporenews.blogspot.sg/2015/09/the-sdp-team-that-could-not-have-lost.html

I’m sure that he, like Goh Meng Seng, believes that UFOs are aliens visiting.

 

 

 

 

Haze: VivianB has the luck of the devil

In Environment, Indonesia on 22/11/2014 at 7:57 am

Despite, me being able to smell the haze almost every evening* for the last few days, the anti-PAP paper warriors and do usual do-gooders have been quiet. The air pollution readings must be OK even if the haze is present. I don’t usually bother to check the readings because high levels are a health hazard only if there is “prolonged exposure”, something which the PAP administration refuses to highlight. Kinda dumb I think to let the usual suspects to get away with propogating rubbish. wake up Yaacob and earn yr salary.

For that I suspect the wet weather (usual around this time of the yr) has a lot to do with the lack of noise.

—–

*And this morning too. Update at 8.12am.

Calling Indons’ bluff and other Asean tall tales

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 08/03/2014 at 5:02 am

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.

Related light reading:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/why-plan-suffocate-sporeans-failed/

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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.

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*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.

Haze over, Indons start two-timing again

In Indonesia, Insurance on 20/07/2013 at 5:15 am

Asean round-up

Indonesia

This two-timing was predicted:

Despite Indonesia committing to ratify the regional pact on transboundary haze pollution by early next year, at the latest, and agreeing to share digitised concession maps with other governments, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan left yesterday’s regional meeting on the haze problem “disappointed (but) not surprised”, in his own words …

Only two of the four outcomes that Singapore had sought were fully met after the four-hour meeting: Getting the participating countries — Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand — to involve high-level officials from all relevant ministries and agencies from each country in the MSC process, and getting a commitment from Indonesia to ratify the ASEAN Transboundary Haze Pollution Agreement “expeditiously”.

Singapore was unable to get an agreement from Indonesia to renew their collaboration to reduce forest fires at Jambi and other provinces if possible, with Indonesia issuing a noncommittal response to offers of bilateral collaborations from Malaysia and Singapore.

While it welcomed the offers, Indonesia is “currently identifying the areas of cooperation which will maximise and bring mutual benefits for all parties concerned”, a press released issued after the meeting said.

Singapore had also hoped to get the participating countries to submit their concession maps and agree a date for the public launch of the ASEAN Sub-Regional Haze Monitoring System (HMS) platform to enable identification errant companies engaging in slash-and-burn practices.

Maps from the Indonesian govt are the only way S’pore can establish whether S’pore-based companies are telling the truth about where the fires are burning. If the accounts of the S’porean (mostly controlled by Indonesians) are taken at their face value, the fires are almost always anywhere except on their land. Note that despite the allegations by Indon officials that S’pore companies started fires , only one co, a M’sian co,has been charged.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/why-plan-suffocate-sporeans-failed/

Thailand/ Insurance

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co is expected to acquire a 15% stake in Thai Life Insurance Co. in what would be one of the biggest investments ever in Asia by a Japanese life insurer With the planned investment worth about ¥70 bn (US%700bn), Meiji Yasuda wants to make the major Thai insurer into an equity-method affiliate and dispatch executives, the sources said.

Like other Japanese insurers, Meiji Yasuda is looking to expand overseas earnings, especially in Asia, amid sluggish business at home due to the aging of society.

Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. has made a ¥28 bn investment in Vietnam’s top insurance group, while Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. in June announced a ¥34.3 bn investment in Indonesia.

Sumitimo which lost out to Yasuda is now looking to Indonesia where Bank Negara is looking to sell up to 40% of its life business for up to $800m, according to the FT.

Japanese banks have been active too. https://atans1.wordpress.com/?s=Mitsubishi

Haze: PM, silence is NOT a solution!

In Indonesia, Political governance on 05/07/2013 at 6:20 am

The PM was wrong about the haze returning (conditions are getting better) and S’pore, Indonesia and M’sia have kissed and made up. Sort of. “ASEAN’s foreign ministers have agreed on a process to task officials from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to examine what is happening on the ground and to report to the leaders in managing it … Mr Shanmugam, together with his counterparts from Malaysia and Indonesia, met to discuss the haze issue and to recommend to the grouping ways to tackle the problem.Mr Shanmugam felt it was a very positive development as it gave ASEAN a framework to move ahead on the matter.” (CNA)

So back to the days of the Asean way: keeping quiet, and working behind closed doors (like how WP MPs, according to Auntie, deal with the PAP govt? To be fair WP MPs are starting to get vocal; sadly its PritamS, the loose canoon )

The situation is more like making up until the offending partner in a relationship cheats again. And going by Indonesia’s track record on fighting haze, it’s reasonable conclude that it will try to “smoke” M’sia and S’pore, once we sit down and keep quiet. Remember VivianB shouted, “Rape!”*, while M’sia took tougher but quieter action: it sent a diplomatic note of protest, but made it public that it had sent a protest note.In olden days, this was often a prelude to war.

And countries also said publicly that they would raise the issue at an Asean meeting, thereby making it publicly an Asean issue. (They did, hence the “agreement”.)

Only after this public display of anger, did Indonesia got to work https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/.

Still not convinced Indons officials are dishonest? There is this ST story (http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/asia-report/indonesia/story/spore-funded-efforts-fight-haze-face-challenges-ground-201) on how aid is wasted or offers of help ignored. (Of course, the usual suspects would discount this story, but it ties in with what their ang moh HR and environmental friends are saying.)

Given this track record of mendacity, it is important not to forget what Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Jero Wacik said juz before his boss apologised**.

At the opening of a meeting of senior energy officials from Asean countries in Nusa Dua, Bali  on 24 June, Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Jero Wacik said that both Singapore and Malaysia had made much profit from Indonesia all this while. He said Malaysia had benefited from bilateral cooperation with Indonesia, including electricity imports from Indonesia. Likewise, Singapore had benefited from Indonesia’s gas supply as well as the large number of Indonesian tourists visiting Singapore.

But he seems to have forgotten S’pore and M’sia didn’t get electricity and gas these things for free. Their companies or govts paid cash, much of which found its way into official’ bank accounts (albeit according to the Indon govt in S’pore). As for tourism, Indonesia benefits from our wealthier tourists visiting Indonesia.

He then went on to say Singapore and Malaysia were trying to discredit Indonesia globally when they should help, he added. said, “Let me remind our friends from Malaysia, Singapore, don’t just because of the haze, tell stories to the world.” He said Singapore and Malaysia should “know themselves” (tahu diri) over the haze, accusing both of trying to discredit Indonesia over the haze issue. “It’s called sharing, you go through good times together, don’t make noise to the world when things go bad. It’s just like husband and wife, don’t take your quarrel outside.”

Err didn’t M’sia and S’pore offer to help fight the fires but were told to bugger off? And haven’t both countries been telling Indonesia for years to do something about the yearly haze, and Indonesia promises to do so, anually, despite refusing to ratify a 2002 Asean treaty*** on the issue? And as related above, our offers of help are ignored or our aid wasted.

And despite him saying,“Both countries should sit together to resolve the problem without making a big deal of it to the world.”, one senior official publicly said  that Malaysia and Singapore linked companies were involved in the burning. But two other senior Indonesian officials publicly contradicted him and said that there was no basis for saying this. Indonesia has acknowledged that its officials have been contradicting each other on this point, and that what is needed is a proper investigation. all the companies have also denied publicly the allegations.

He also said that the Indonesian government is doing its utmost to put out the fires. So how come it comes around around as regularly as the monsoons? And what about ratifying the 2002 Asean treaty on fighting haze?

Finally, Indonesian politicians criticised their president for apologising, showing their belief that Indonesia had a right  to smoke its neighbours, juz as it has the right to invade and rule West Papua and East Timor.

So until Indonesia shows it is serious about solving the annual problem that hurts millions of its people, S’pore and M’sia have to be willing to name and shame Indonesia publicly and in int’l forums like Asean meetings, or worse come to the worse at the UN This, it seems, is the modern equivalent of Raffles sending in the army to burn down palaces to teach recalcitrant sultans  to respect the British https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/.

Let’s hope Pinky has found his balls to stand up for S’pore! Silence is not an option!

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/the-haze-and-regime-change/

* In a strongly-worded statement on Facebook he bitched that “no country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans’ health and wellbeing”, Starting to like him despite his sneering at the poor when a pAP MP asked him to spend more on them. while throwing our money at the Kiddie Games.

**My take on the apology

***Only now is the govt taking steps to get it ratified.

Haze: Is this allegation true?

In Public Administration on 27/06/2013 at 5:34 am

This caught my attention,”From Facebook posts, there were people who collapsed or died of heart attack or asthma attack.”; a sentence from a long piece by a reader to TOC and posted by TOC.

I’ve read similar allegations by TRE readers then who went on to castigate our govt for allowing these things to happen, and our”constructive”, “nation-building” media for not reporting these deaths etc.

My doctor friends tell me they have not seen an increase in such cases, and say that there are are no rumours floating around from doctors working in public hospitals on such increases.

What I would like to know:

— Are there postings of “people who collapsed or died of heart attack or asthma attack”. Asking as I’ve not seen any such, but then I’m not a big user of FB. This posting appeared on Tuesday evening, but I saw it only yesterday.

— Whether there has been any increase in “people who collapsed or died of heart attack or asthma attack”? Hope the govt can provide data and Uncle Leong can critique the info provided. Maybe some PAP MP or Lina Chiam will ask for the numbers if the govt doesn’t come forward?

BTW, three cheers for TOC. It has been trying to do something to help people during the haze: not juz talk cock, sing song and bitch. TOC is so unlike many other kay poh bloggers or FB “activists”.

And it gets “marked” by the govt? SIGH.

BTW2, Support the NEA’s website rebuking “wrong” facts. I’m surprised that a few of the “usual suspects” think that it is a waste of effort, with nEA having better things to do. ’cause their kakis kanna slime?

Why Plan “Suffocate S’poreans” failed?

In Humour, Indonesia, Malaysia on 26/06/2013 at 4:55 am

(Or “Why Indonesia apologised?”)

So the Indonesian presisent has apologised to M’sia and S’pore for the haze, despite an official earlier saying that Indonesia would not apologise to S’pore. And the president also admitted that his ministers were talking cock, while doing bugger-all.

So this has worked: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/?

Seriously, why has Indonesia apologised to this  “little red dot” inhabited by “children”?

My friend in M’sia’s Special Branch told me the following story based on bugs placed in the cabinet room: nothing to do with us “children” it seems.

On Monday, the Indonesia cabinet was briefed on “Operation Smoke Out the Money”. The president and his ministers were told that S’pore was choking in the smoke from Riau and would be soon be very receptive to this call by a fair-minded S’porean-Canadian* to surrender all of its ill-gotten gains from Indonesia, especially as the article was republished in the widely read, influential patriotic and nationalistic TRE, and the very respected, influential SGDaily carried a link to the original article**. My source said that many ministers were heard groaning presumably because they had illicit money in S’pore.

Then an aide came in and said, “Mr President, the dad of S’pore’s PM wants to speak to you.” The ministers clapped.

Then another aide called, “Sir, Najib, Anwar and Tun M are calling, together”. The president said, “How do they know so fast Suharto’s buddy is repenting? And why a joint call?”.One minister said,”Sir, they came together to honour you, the MAN who brought S’pore to its knees!”

The aide said, “Sir, I doubt it. M’sia has declared an emergency in South Johor and schools in KL are closing; all because of the haze. Apparently, Superman*** is blowing the smoke away from S’pore, diverting the smoke into Malaya. S’pore is smoke free! The Malay media is asking, “Why are our Muslim brudders behaving like this? Screwing, smoking us and not the infidels in S’pore? S’pore took their money, not us!”

A third aide came in saying, “Sir, the plantation companies and APRIL are calling. They want to know how much more money yr ministers want them to deposit in the ministers’ S’pore bank accounts?”

The president went, “Oh Riau!”. My SB source says presumably because Riau is now hotter than hell.

And one Christian minister was heard sniggering, “Where are the Islamic superheroes when Muslims need them?”. Ash trays and wine glasses were thrown at him.

*Contrary to TRE posters, Special Branch does not believe he is an Indonesian Quisling, doing it for the money. He is an honest S’porean- Canadian. He sincerely believes that S’pore is screwing Indonesia.

**Only TOC didn’t carry the article.

***I reminded my SB contact of Superman’s Jewish origins: Kal-El (his Krypton name) sounds like the Jewish term for “Voice of God”. My contact laughingly said that LKY chose his friends better than M’sia’s rulers did. He chose Israel and the US to suck up to, M’sia chose Muslim countries and the US as friends.

Haze: What Raffles would have done

In Indonesia on 24/06/2013 at 4:40 am

“Mr Shanmugam reiterated Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s position that it is not productive to trade accusations”, CNA reported. He was being asked about

— the recent comments of Indonesian Minister Agung Laksono chiding Singapore for behaving “like a child”; and

— Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa remarks that the Indonesian government would not issue an apology to Singapore for the haze crisis.

Bit rich this, given that it was our very own VivianB who, rightly, started the public naming and shaming of the Indonesian govt: in a strongly-worded statement on Facebook that “no country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans’ health and wellbeing”, in the early hours of 20th June.

The Indonesian govt lost face, as his remarks were reported in the West where the govt has been trying to show its green face with various announced policies (like reserving land as jungle), and where the govt is trying to investors to think of Indonesia as a BRICS nation (“I” for India and Indonesia, not juz India).

The govt started bitching against S’pore, but has done something (witness the clear skies on Saturday evening, Sunday, and so far today*) following VivianB’s, Shan’s and PM’s comments about Indon non-actions:

— At a late-night emergency meeting on 20th June , President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered disaster officials to “immediately mobilise all the country’s resources” to extinguish the fires on Sumatra island that have created vast palls of smoke. Why so late? Firefighters on the ground have struggled to put out the blazes, which are burning under the surface of the peat, for at least two weeks..

— Indonesia announced it has earmarked around 200 billion rupiah (US$20 million) to handle the disaster. No budget, before S’pore shamed Indonesia?

— Indonesia’s national disaster agency said that two helicopters with cloud-seeding equipment were sent early Friday from Jakarta and Borneo island to Riau province, where hundreds of hectares (acres) of carbon-rich peatland are ablaze. Again why so late?

— It  said water-bombing helicopters could be dispatched, although gave no timeframe. [Update

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s national disaster agency, said they had “carried out 14 water-bombings, dropping a total of 7,000 litres (1,820 gallons) of water onto the fires”.

He added that altogether, four helicopters had been deployed for water-bombing operations while two planes were conducting cloud-seeding, AFP news agency reported.

However, Indonesian disaster agency official Agus Wibowo told AFP that two cloud-seeding attempts tried in Riau province over the weekend were not successful.— BBC report]

— Two S’pore based companies controlled by Indonesians were named by the Indonesian authorities as partly responsible for the fires. They denied the name calling. Anyway, these are own goals because the owners are Indonesian, and the burning is in Indonesia. So why no action leh?

All in all, has VivianB’s screams of “Rape!”, got the Indonesian govt embarrassed enough to do something?

And the pressure continues:

— S’pore, by getting M’sia*** to agree to get the haze issue on the agenda at the coming Asean meeting in Brunei, has forced the Indons to talk about the issue in front of other Asean countries.

— S’pore is also rightly threatening to raise the cry of “Rape!” in other int’l public forums.

Gd for VivianB and gd for PM? No more “behind closed doors meetings” like what Auntie says WP MPs do with the S’pore govt to get things done? To be fair, even WP has now learnt that “closed doors” is for sex only.

Raffles must be laughing in his mansion in heaven. When he was ruling Java (see Raffles and the British Invasion of Java and here), he sent in the army to teach the sultans of Palembang (in Sumatra) and Yogyakarta (in Java) a lesson. The former had killed a few Europeans, while the latter was two-timing the British. The British stormed and looted the sultans’ palaces, and appointed new sultans. The new sultans and all the other sultans realised that the British were unruly, irrational and brutal, like children, and decided to behave. When the Dutch returned, they behaved like the British, seeing that the sultans were cowed by such thuggish behaviour. Being nice, didn’t pay, it seemed.

So the only way to get anything done by the Indonesian govt is to threaten disproportionate “punishment” if ministers are caught two-timing? Today, sending in the army is not acceptable behaviour (except for the hegemon and the wannabe hegemon). But maybe naming and shaming ministers, who value face (especially from ang mohs), is acceptable, and, more importantly, effective: juz as force* was in the 19th century, as Raffles showed.

The Indonesia govt and ruling elite want Indonesia to be perceived as a major player on the int’l stage. Showing that ministers are incompetent and dishonest affects the perception. Here’s how Shan showed up the incompetency or mendacity of an Indon minister http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-getting/721306.html. More pls, Shan.

Raffles (and then the Dutch) “children” physically lashed the sultans until they cried “Uncle”***, and “behaved”; so shouldn’t S’pore lash the ministers verbally, until they stop “smoking” us?

—-

*And it’s peace and quiet on Facebook as the anti-govt activists (esp those belonging to minor opposition parties) think of new reasons to bitch against the govt. Don’t worry guys. Yr silence only only shows yr lack of imagination.

**And  during Confrontation, a lot more Indon soldiers were killed than the Commonwealth, M’sian and S’porean (if any) soldiers defending M’sia and S’pore. Many were killed in Kalimantan by the SAS and Gurkhas. While the Indonesian elite forces were playing at being warriors, the SAS and Gurkhas attacked them when they tot they were safe in Indonesian territory. The Indonesian soldiers and ministers tot that only they were entitled to trespass. The SAS and Gurkhas tot otherwise.

*** TOC reported yesterday on FB, “What is seen from above for the region. Singapore is spared from much of the haze as more of it diverts towards north of Malaysia.”

Haze: Govt wasting money? Aided & abetted by anti-govt or kay poh activists!

In Economy, Political governance on 23/06/2013 at 4:30 am

The SAF distributed 1m free N95 masks meant for the poor yesterday to “grassroot” leaders. Today, these PAP people will distribute the masks. The anti-govt or kay poh activists stopped bitching against the govt for juz a second , then started bitching, “Why so late leh? People suffering for days.” Obviously nothing will satisfy them.

Actually, they should be bitching about the free masks.

The face masks which are in high demand in Singapore can protect against the worst of the smog.

But Dr Bhaskaran says they are unlikely to provide total protection.

“The masks may be sufficient to keep out some particles, but other gases would go straight through them.”

The British Lung Foundation agrees: “The use of masks is not recommended; they are often ineffective and may make breathing more difficult.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23000409

As this foundation is non-political and is quasi-medical, I have to accept that its view is authoritative and founded on medical evidence, especially given that our govt is trying to bribe us with our money,  and that activists, whether anti-govt or juz plain kay pohs, don’t care if public funds are wasted’ so long as it suits their agendas, whatever that may be.

When anti-govt or kay poh activists, and the govt are on the same wave-length, we get screwed. SIGH.

Meanwhile, the cost of the current haze for Singapore could be hundreds of millions of dollars, brokerage CLSA said in a report.

It said that in 2006, when the pollution index reached 150, it was estimated the haze cost $50 million and in 1997 it was $300 million. CLSA said the 1997 and 2006 figures seemed low when considering the direct and indirect cost of prolonged haze.

And this is what Barclays says https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/haze-economy-will-slow/

Haze: Economy will slow

In Economy, Indonesia on 22/06/2013 at 10:35 am

Businesses and analysts have warned that the longer the problem persists, the higher the cost will be for the overall economy.

“Tourism-related sectors such as retails sales, hotels, food and beverage, and gaming, these will take a hit,” Joey Wong of Barclays told the BBC.

Tourism is a big revenue earner for Singapore and according to some estimates industries related to the sector account for between 5% and 6% of Singapore’s total economic output.

The last time the city-state was hit by such bad haze in 1997, tourist arrivals dropped by nearly 15% in a month.

According to a report by Barclays, there are indications that some tourists have already started to cut short their stay in Singapore and some have even cancelled their bookings.

Ms Wong said while it was too early to estimate the overall impact of the haze on the industry, the cost for the sector could be between $200m – $400m (£130m – £260m) if there was an 8% to 10% drop in arrivals.

However, she added that any drop would be temporary and the arrivals will pick up once the conditions improved.

Bad timing?

While a situation like the current one is never good for businesses, it is even worse if it happens during the peak annual period.

That is position that Singapore’s retailers find themselves in. The haze has hit during the annual “Great Singapore Sale”, one of the busiest shopping periods of the year … Singapore Retail Association, says that retailers are already experiencing a marked decline in traffic and sales are down by between 8% to 12%.

“If this continues, the industry – which is already faced with very high cost of operations – would certainly be badly hit and retailers, who are already struggling to hold on to their very slim margins, will see this being eroded further,” said Ms Wei.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22999205